The city and non-profits are still working to find a longer-term solution to residents forced from the Yale Park Apartments. Officials called it a safety issue and humanitarian move, but now, some out of their homes said it's not what they wanted. Some helping those families clear out their apartments said there's more to the story, as many are very worried.
"This is their community, and this is all they know, so don't take that away from them,” said concerned citizen, Syranda Poole. Syranda Poole and Raven Fulkerson said they have been at the apartments since the evacuation, talking to the families who were forced out. They called it an ambush and said the city did not tell the whole story. "These apartments, they are not that bad, there's probably three units that are terrible,” said Poole. Mayor Jean Stothert said the city did not give advance notice about the inspection because it did not want the tenants, or landlord to leave.
Still, Poole said some of these families feel like they’re refugees again. "They come here to escape what they are going through and we are traumatizing them even more,” said Poole. Landlord Kay Anderson says the city didn't follow protocol. "Instead of going to the landlord, which would be the reasonable approach, and saying here's a list of things that need to be fixed, statue gives you 14 days to fix it, what are you gonna do about it and had they done that I’d said we'll prioritize and we'll go through it,” said Anderson.
Anderson is expected to see the complaints and violations early next week. He said he's worried about those now forced to live in shelters. "So many of them just come up in tears and hug me and shake my hand and say they're sorry, they never intended it to go this way,” he said.
Some just want their neighbors back. "At the end of the day, they are in our community, and we are all a community and all a family,” said Poole, “We wanna collect paint, we wanna collect stuff like that so we can start fixing up these homes to put them back in.” City officials say they plan to have more permanent housing for these families by the end of the workday Tuesday.