Following is a letter that was recently sent to the owners of a Mobilehome Park in the San Diego area. The owners acted to replace the manager with a temporary, pending arrangements to provide new management. It shows what can be accomplished by one person, fighting for their rights. Congratulations on your new manager!
Elder abuse is serious and it happens far too often in MH parks. If you believe it is happening in your park, let us know and perhaps we can help.
It is with much concern about your Park’s manager that I feel I must write you, because in my experience it could be a matter of elder abuse! I have worked for the Department of Social Services for 15 years in conjunction with my business, Angels in Disguise. My responsibility and job is to work with seniors and the disabled.
In March, I visited my mother-in-law, in your Mobilehome Park. I found her ill and living in unhealthy surroundings. She was not taking her medications correctly, if at all! The house was untidy. I immediately set out to clean things up and help her. I found myself staying with her for what I thought would be a short time until I could arrange to have her daughter or someone come live with her. That did not work out. So I was essentially it. The 2nd of April we received a notice that if someone is living with a home owner for more than 20 days that they needed to be added to the “lease”. So the next day, I went to the office and talked to the woman there. She told me her name.
I explained to her that Mom was ill and needed someone to take care of her. Your manager replied that: “if she can’t take care of herself, then she needs to be put in a home”! Well! I said to Mrs. Manager that it wasn’t right that because Mom was sick she shouldn’t have to leave their home, and especially if she has someone there to help her. She scolded me like I was a child and responded: “I don’t make up the rules”. She pulled out a bunch of papers saying I needed to pay a $25 application fee and $25 for a CREDIT CHECK! ALSO, she needed proof of income for 3 months and bank statements. She slammed the papers on the counter and wanted to know if I was paying any rent, and how much, so she could figure out how much an additional deposit would be required! What? Then she ordered me to come up with the money right away! I returned to talk with Mom and she became very angry and upset. She told me none of what had taken place sounded right or fair to her and she just wanted me to stay.
Another month passed and we were once again assailed by your manager. So, I collected and filled out the forms, got the “proofs” and money together, and went to the office. There was a woman with a man in a wheelchair in the office when I arrived. They were apparently questioning why a utility bill had gone up so fast. All of a sudden Mrs. Manager became very irritated and started yelling at the woman. Her yelling turned into screaming. She ordered them out of her office! The woman started to cry and the disabled man was very visibly shaken. I left with them, so stunned and hurt by what I had just witnessed! Feeling guilty I hadn’t done something to help them. A few days later I collected myself and return to the office. It was a Wednesday and NOBODY was in the office. (Later, when I finally caught up with the manager she said she said that she had already worked the number of hours she was limited to and had locked up for the day!)
I never kept track of the many times I could hear shouting and screaming coming from the office! (Mom’s house is close by!) Be assured, such occasions are common and numerous in your Park. If your manager was only an embarrassment, that would be one thing. But she is disrespectful, hurtful to the seniors and a bully in your park! You would be well advised to separate your company from her ASAP!
My conscience does not allow me to remain silent! Elder abuse is a crime! I am available should you like to discuss this further. Sincerely, Owner Of Angels in Disguise San Diego (You can reach her through Mobilehome Magazine).