DERBY, Kan. (KSNW) – The community support for more than 30 residents evicted from a mobile home park in Mulvane is pouring in. That help comes after they’ve been without running water and sewer service for the past two months and now have less than a month to relocate.
Organizers Friday finished setting up for a barbecue fundraiser that kicks off Saturday morning. The goal of the fundraiser is to come up with the money to help the families affected.
Now, the barbecue company isn’t the only one lending a helping hand.
The fact that’s she’s being evicted from the mobile home park is a bitter pill for Judith Randal to swallow. She’s called the park home for almost 10 years. Now, she must find a new place to live. She says for herself and many residents, the cost of moving their mobile homes is too much.
“That’s the biggest, the biggest thing here, because like I said, nobody has that kind of money,” Randal said.
After seeing what the residents were going through, David Graham with Colorado-based RV Horizons felt he had to do something to help. Graham says he’s offering to move free of charge the residents’ homes to the Mobile Manor Estates Community in Wichita, a park his company manages.
“We will pay for the move of their home, the plumbing hookups, the electrical hookups, we’ll get them new skirting, and also if their decks are movable, we’ll move their decks,” Graham said.
Graham says it normally costs between $3,000-$5,000 to move a mobile home, an investment he says would cost more than $100,000 if the entire community is moved. Despite that cost, Graham says it’s an investment that’s well worth it.
“That is a minimal investment compared to what our residents deserve and what these people deserve,” Graham said. “Nobody deserves to be put out on the street or get a notice like they received.”
Graham says if the residents chose to move there, he’ll match their rent for the next year.
“If they are currently paying $250, we’ll go ahead and honor that for the next 12-months, the first year they are with us.”
That’s something residents like Judith Randal appreciate.
“I think that’s great, to me that’s like a miracle, somebody is trying to help us.”
Graham says he’ll fly to Wichita next Wednesday and meet with the residents to make sure the trailers do meet city and state guidelines before beginning the process to move the residents of the Mulvane park.
As for the fundraiser in Derby, organizers say they originally expected a couple of hundred people to show up but think there could be many more.