TACOMA, WA – An 85-year-old military veteran is experiencing some severe difficulties getting rid of numerous vagrants that have essentially taken over the property around his home, as the kindness he extended years earlier to two people has turned into a situation where multiple homeless individuals are exploiting the veteran.
And this elderly veteran is getting conflicting answers from law enforcement and other officials on how to approach this catastrophe.
“They take over slowly, it’s kind of like an epidemic,” the property owner said. https://t.co/gsgH7yBJYk
— KING 5 News (@KING5Seattle) September 16, 2021
A man by the name of John, who didn’t want to provide his last name, had extended some kindness toward two women who were homeless and had nowhere to go roughly four years ago. On his property he had an empty trailer and allowed the women to stay there.
However, years later, that kindness extended to those two women has spiraled out of control, as John’s property has turned into a sort of revolving door for many homeless individuals that he did not invite:
“They take over slowly. It’s kind of like an epidemic.”
Outside his house, there are tents, structures erected by the homeless, trash, abandoned vehicles, and other waste. Not to mention the constant incoming and outgoing vagrants that he has no desire to host.
Alisha, John’s great-granddaughter, said she feels as though her great-grandfather is being walked all over by the homeless residing on his property, and also fears for his safety in the event any of the vagrants decide to turn on him for nay reason:
“I feel like they’ve taken advantage of my great-grandfather, and I feel for his safety because what happens when we start to get deeper and who is going to be here to protect him if I leave and they lash out in the middle of the night?”
And the problems are only getting worse for John, as now the city of Tacoma has cited him with several code violations and have given him until September 23rd to not only clear out all the garbage and abandoned vehicles from his property – but he’s also tasked with vacating the homeless.
However, the city says they cannot help with clearing out the homeless unless John is able to file “a No Trespass Authorization” with local police, according to a statement from the city:
“We recognize the health and safety concerns caused by encampments to those living in and around them. The City of Tacoma does not criminalize homelessness.
If an encampment is on private property, property owners can file a No Trespass Authorization with the Tacoma Police Department for assistance in removing people from their property. The City also conducts outreach to help people in the encampment identify and find alternative shelter options and resources.”
There’s just one other problem: Tacoma Police haven’t been much help in the matter, according to John great-granddaughter, saying that they’ve gotten conflicting statements from police on how to remove the vagrants and their massive amounts of garbage and tents.
According to Alisha, one responding officer claimed that her great-grandfather couldn’t even touch any of the belongings of the vagrants invading the property – saying that the homeless individuals have established legal residency at the property.
Whereas another officer claimed that since it’s private property, John is able to throw away the garbage and tents as he pleases.
The city of Tacoma has also acknowledged that John may have to formally evict the homeless residing on his property as opposed to trespassing them, in the event there is a landlord-tenant relationship that is ongoing.
John admits that he charged roughly $150 a month rent to the two women he initially welcomed years back, but that even they have defaulted on paying rent for several months.
John says he just wants his property to return back to the way it used to be, prior to becoming an unwanted homeless encampment:
“All I really need is financial help and assistance to clean it up. I want to clean it up; go back to the way it was.”
Alisha says that her great-grandfather had rented one of those large dumpsters to start clearing out the garbage, with her saying he’s likely going to need a couple more to realistically get all of the garbage off the property. She stated the single container cost him $1,400, which was his “whole social security check.”
But another issue is actually getting the property cleaned up. Alisha has managed to take some days off work to help, but fears that her efforts aren’t enough to meet the deadline of September 23rd:
“It’s just a lot of work, and we don’t have people up here to help. We need volunteers. Anyone that is willing to come up here and help bag garbage.”
John is rightfully worried that if he can’t get the property cleaned up on time, then the city could condemn his property – making him homeless:
“Eventually, they could take court action and condemn the property and move me into the street. I would like to get some assistance financially and volunteers.”
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Family can’t return to their home because a squatter locked them out – and is being protected by CA laws!
(Originally published July 12th, 2021)
LAKEWOOD, CA – There is something seriously awry in California, as a family that has owned a home for over an entire year hasn’t been able to move inside of the home they purchased in Lakewood.
The reason why: a 51-year-old woman is squatting inside their home, and the laws are actually protecting the squatter’s active occupation.
Weeks after FOX 11 first shared their story, a Lakewood family is still unable to return to their own home due to a squatter taking advantage of the eviction moratorium. https://t.co/6BxZfaGBGa
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) July 10, 2021
Korri Olson, her husband and their 2-year-old son are still caught in the middle of a struggle to get access to their home they bought during the summer of 2020. Yet, due to an obese 51-year-old woman who won’t even let the family come on the property without formal notice, Olsen’s family are barred from forcing the woman out.
The homeowners are essentially trapped by the likes of squatter’s rights and eviction moratoriums established during the pandemic, which are treating Olsen’s family like landlords and the squatter as a tenant.
Except, the family never rented out the property to the woman – she simply moved in her belongings some time ago and has been camping out in the living room of the home.
The family was originally dealing with about half a dozen squatters at first, which Olsen said they had to hire an attorney and pay out tens of thousands of dollars to the squatters to get them to leave the home.
However, the solitary woman remains, and apparently can’t be forced out the home.
According to reports, this squatter is allegedly bedridden due to her obesity and other health issues, and actually gets visited daily by a local social worker. This squatter hasn’t been employed since the mid-1990s reportedly and lives off of government assistance.
Squatter on social assistance takes advantage of eviction moratorium, leaving homeowners in limbohttps://t.co/kF2JyAp4d4
— Logan Byrnes (@LoganByrnes) June 23, 2021
Back in June, Korri said that this squatter’s social worker actually approached her family and offered them information about local shelter they could stay in:
“We were actually told by the social services person dealing with the woman living in the house that they could give us information on shelters for us to stay in.”
In the latest developments, a Norwalk judge did find that this squatter wasn’t adversely affected by COVID-19 in any financial way and thus her case doesn’t fall under the protections outlined in the moratorium on evictions.
Yet, the squatter is apparently demanding a jury trial on the matter, which there aren’t any juries operating within Norwalk specifically due to COVID – which could potentially allow her to occupy the home for several more months.
The home is reportedly in dire need of repairs, with inspectors having found damage to the foundation of the home and a severe mold problem.
On top of paying out thousands to the other squatters, paying the mortgage, paying for inspections to see the accumulating damage that they cannot yet have repaired – Olsen’s family also has stacking legal fees to fight for their rightfully owned home.
As for the squatter, she’s being represented by Legal Aid, which means she doesn’t have to pay anything out of pocket in terms of legal fees to continue squatting in the Olsen’s home.
The Olsen’s have been staying in the bedroom of a relative’s home but are worried that they won’t be able to continue fighting for their home they purchased – partly from the emotional hardships from the debacle, but mainly the rising costs caused by this squatter and the legal system enabling her occupation.
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Author: Gregory Hoyt
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