Mobile Home Park Residents Still in Need of Assistance

By Mallory Lane

Published 08/22 2014 06:18PM

Updated 08/22 2014 06:36PM

STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - Families in a local mobile home park are still looking for help as their deadline to move out quickly approaches.

There are seven families left living in the Franklin Mobile Home Park in State College.

They have until October 1st to move out and many of them don't have anywhere to go.

Now, local organizations in the area are trying to pitch in to help.

Robert Wetzel has lived in Franklin Manor for 10 years. In March, he and 26 other families were told to move out.

"It was depressing because I was in the process of remodeling my trailer some more, but it didn't happen," he said.

In the past six months, he's run into some rough patches. He still needs to pay $1,300 in back taxes on his new place in Julian.

"I know it's rough out there, people have it worse than me," Wetzel said.

Others haven't fared as well. We're told a lot of folks who moved out of the mobile home park lost their jobs because they didn't have the transportation to get to work, when they normally either walked or took the bus. That's resulted in some families already getting evicted from their new homes because they simply can't afford to continue paying monthly rent without help.

"There are a lot of questions that come into play," Executive Director of Interfaith Human Services, Ruth Donahue, said.

Donahue said finding the funds and other means to help these families is a complex issue.

"So they're able to survive from month to month, but what happens when they hit any kind of crisis that jeopardizes their monthly budget," she said. "Of course, having to move their entire household or find a new home is a very expensive endeavor."

The October 1st deadline is fast approaching, so Donahue's organization and others are asking for your help.

"Any amount is certainly appreciated," Donahue said. "The average distribution to families has been around $1,500. We're paying first month's rent, security deposits, sometimes utilities."

Some of the families said it's not just the monetary help they need. Some folks need help with painting, one family needs to find a furnace for their new place, even volunteers to help them with their move.

To help or to make a donation, visit the Displaced Residents Fund donation page on the Interfaith Human Services website.

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