Community members, organization steps up to serve tenants facing eviction

Published 10:28 am Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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For tenants of College Park Apartments, the last two weeks have been a whirlwind.

Not only are they still waiting to have electrical power returned after severe winds on March 3 damaged the power supply, but they received eviction notices on March 10 stating that they needed to vacate by March 24.

Amidst the struggle, others have stepped in to help.

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On Thursday, March 16, local community members, church leaders, and organizations dedicated to providing services could be found at the complex on College Street.

“We are one big family. We’re all here for each other”, said Brenda Kennon, an eight-year resident. “Most of us don’t have anywhere to go, and there’s a waiting list on rental property. It’s been a hardship on all of us.”

When news got out about the eviction, others took note.

One such individual was Dale Hatton, a local realtor with Dream Maker Realty.

With support from the VFW, Hatton brought his grill to the location.

While there, he served various food, including burgers, hot dogs, chips, and soda.

Another woman was kind enough to bring hot apple pies.

“I met with the residents yesterday, and it kind of broke my heart [to hear] what they’re going through,” said Hatton. “I’m just trying to give them a little bit of hope and let them know that somebody cares and we’re going to do all we can to get them through this situation.”

Stepping in as well was David Lane, Outreach Minister at Christ Church of Winchester.

Christ Church of Winchester is one of the multiple churches that has sought to assist.

“Before I could come out here, our senior pastor called me and said, ‘get out there and see how the church can help,’” said Lane. “I want to help and get involved where I can, but then [I also] want to get other people from our church involved.”

Clark County Community Services staff – including Director Laci Scarboro and Housing Director Tish Shupe – also appeared.

Fortunately, they have communicated with the Kentucky Housing Corporation, who has confirmed that they can allocate special funding to cover hotel vouchers, food, laundry, and transportation expenses.

Such funding will take place in partnership with funding from an existing program at CCCS which assists with moving costs, storage, security and utility deposits, and three months of rental assistance.

The funding is vital for the variety of individuals in the complex, which has 22 total units.

Among them are Carrie Morris, Sandra Kimbrell, and Diana Bates.

Bates would be celebrating her 44th year living in College Park Apartments this October.

The complex also has three families with children.

Other organizations – such as Clark County Public Schools – have also contacted to see how they can help.

While the situation is undoubtedly troublesome, the course of action for the future is clear.

“We’re going to court. We’re not going to lay down,” Kennon said.

A Tennessee-based company, Volunteer Properties, owns the complex.