Housing Crisis and the Community’s Response

Did you see the news report on KY3 last month about the trailer park in crisis?  On March 3rd, 54 residents of a local trailer park received a 60-day eviction notice. On March 9th, the water for the entire park was shut off due to lack of payment by the lot owner.  That’s 16 families, including 21 children, 2 senior citizens, 2 veterans, and 12 family pets, with no water and nowhere else to go.  Have you ever thought about what you would do if you had to move quickly or leave your home with no other options?

So how did our community respond?  Convoy of Hope delivered pallets of bottled water.  City Utilities re-established water services.  And a group of community organizations gathered quickly to make a plan.  We were happy to be at that table along with Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO), City Utilities, Springfield Greene County Office of Emergency Management, Springfield-Greene County Health Department, and the City of Springfield.

From that meeting, CFO pledged financial assistance to help the families relocate. Wow, that was a blessing! And we agreed to step in and conduct assessments to determine the needs of each family.  Our team spent a lot of time at the trailer park, meeting with each family and talking about their hopes and also their barriers to moving.  What we found was that almost all had very few resources to cover the cost of moving their trailers or moving to a new apartment or home.  There were also several very old trailers that could not be moved due to age.  And some had bought their trailers years ago but didn’t have a title or a bill of sale.

With the emergency grant from CFO for $14,200 and a dumpster provided by the City of Springfield, we began the process of helping these families relocate, and to-date, three trailers have been moved and five more are expected to move within the next week.  We couldn’t do this without the help of Cedarbrook and Homestead Acres Mobile Home Parks!  Three other families have moved into other rentals instead of moving their trailers and we are still working with the remaining six to find new homes.  While the crisis may continue for many after their move, we are committed to helping them address ongoing needs so they can regain hope and stability in their lives.

This is a perfect example of how our community works together to meet needs!  I’m proud of our role but I’m just as proud of the collaborative response…

10 community partners (local government, agencies, businesses and individuals) came together to help neighbors in need.

More than $17,000 has been contributed to-date in cash and in-kind donations to support this project.

And most importantly, 16 families will have a new place to call home!