Pearl Jones is 81 years old and has lived at the?Carlyn Estates Mobile Home Park in Palmetto, Florida, for more than 30 years. Now she has been told by the manager that she will be evicted if she continues to receive food donations.
Yes, you read that right.
Jones says?Tonia Sonju, manager of the park,?gave her a handwritten letter saying she would be evicted if she continued receiving donations from a local church’s food bank. And others have also been told the same thing.
Ms. Jones remarked:
??The owner had her people follow the delivery trucks and mark down the numbers of the trailers who got it. Now, no one will accept food. They don’t want to be evicted.?This lady is from California and she said no one in here needs it. She thinks everyone in here has a lot of money. Well, I need it.”
In addition to being elderly, Jones says she also suffers from diabetes and cancer. She only receives a little over $800 a month in Social Security to try and make ends meet.?Her lot rent is $405 a month, she pays $137 for water, electric, and phone, but now she also has the added expense of $50 a month for car insurance so her friends can drive her to pick up her food. Why? Because the park’s management will not let the church or even Meals On Wheels enter the park.
Sandra Swift also lives at Carlyn Estates and said she firmly believes the manager is trying to get rid of people they don’t like with the new food donation rule. She alleges that Sonju is targeting?Tim McColye, former homeowners association president and who started the Meals on Wheels deliveries:
“Tim realized how many people in this park are low income. He said he wanted to start a food bank right here in the park. Tim is the one who contacted the church and got things started. We helped him distribute it. But now Tonia is giving violations to Tim for everything she can think of.”
Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore was contacted about the ridiculous rule and commented:
?I am in shock that the manager feels this way.?I think it’s a matter of education. Accepting food is nothing to be embarrassed about. That is why we were put on Earth, to help our fellow man? She has her own private business there and that is a private street.?But if this really is an issue, maybe the residents can get the food across the street.?
For now, the residents have started a GoFundMe page which you can go to if you want to contribute and help these financially strapped senior citizens.
There is also a Facebook group for those who want to receive updates on the situation at Carlyn Estates.