94-Year-Old Woman Evicted For Not Paying $161 In Rent, Then She’s Tossed In Jail
Not only was 94-year-old Juanita Fitzgerald kicked out of her home days before her birthday, but she was also thrown in jail for two nights.
Fitzgerald was evicted and refused to leave her home.
“‘Unless you carry me out of here, I’m not going anywhere,’” Juanita said according to a police report. “Juanita Fitzgerald was made well aware the day prior to her being evicted today. While on the scene, Juanita was asked several times to leave the property and was advised she was currently trespassed and could no longer stay in this location.”
The 5-foot-100-pound woman was carried out of the building by police along with her walker. She spent two nights in jail and says she has bruises and scratches on her ankles from the shackles they put on her in jail.
She’s now staying in an $80 per night motel room wondering where she will live.
“I don’t care if it’s just one little room,” Fitzgerald told the Orlando Sentinel.
Her story ended up going viral and has gotten lots of media attention.
“My daughter said, ‘My God, mother, you’re all over the world!’” Fitzgerald said.
Thankfully the Mid-Florida Homeless Coalition is working on finding her a new place to live.
“We’re working with her to try to accommodate her as soon as possible,” the organization’s board member B.E. Thompson said.
Court documents show that the decision to evict Fitzgerald from National Church Residences’ Franklin House came after months of litigation that included safety concerns and failure to pay rent.
Fitzgerald says that she would occasionally call the authorities and complain to management about other residents which made her unpopular among her neighbors.
She says this lead to a strain on her relationship with the property manager, who Fitzgerald said held up a “closed fist” while having a conversation. She also claims that she tried to make a full payment in October but the property manager wouldn’t accept her rent.
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A spokesperson for the Franklin House says that the payment wasn’t accepted because it was only half of what was due. She was ordered to pay $161 by Oct. 19 before her lease was terminated on Nov. 2. The Franklin House says that Fitzgerald was given months to pay rent including during the court process.
Fitzgerald says she just plans to keep on going and look for a new place to live.
“I’m tired,” Fitzgerald said. “But God takes care of me.”
A complete stranger is helping to raise money for Fitzgerald and so far raised more than a $3,000. You can find that page here.
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Source: Tampa Bay Times
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