Pasco County Commissioner Pat Mulieri wants to find help for the residents of Walden Pond mobile home park.
She plans to go to the New Port Richey community Aug. 3 accompanied by county social services staff to do a preliminary screening for residents who might need assistance with relocation or other needs after owners of the mobile home park told them it is closing.
Darren Waters, an attorney and outreach coordinator for the homeless with the Pasco/Pinellas Public Defender’s Office, will also be there.
There will be translators for residents who only speak Spanish. Some goods will also be donated to residents.
The group of county workers and volunteers will be out Friday morning under an oak tree in the main section of the park. Mulieri has said she's shooting for being there around 10 a.m.
Mulieri emphasized the effort is intended only for tenants and not the general public.
“It is just a people-to-people project,” she said.
The owners of Walden Pond mobile home park told residents in July that the park was closing, effective 11:59 p.m. July 31, and they needed to leave. (See more here).
Some residents have not left.
New Port Richey Code Enforcement Officer Liz Nichols says that to legally evict people, a property owner needs to file eviction paperwork through the court system. The eviction can only be served to tenants by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
As of Wednesday, Nichols had not seen any legal notice filed through the court.
Mulieri visited the park Tuesday, spoke to residents and saw a need. A number of tenants want to go, but they do not have first and last month's rent for a new place, Mulieri says.
So Mulieri wants to see how many would need help with rent and also the range they can pay.
The county workers will ask tenants what they need and try to hook them up with agencies that can provide services.
This is a preliminary screening, Mulieri said. If tenants qualify for assistance, they might need to go to a county building at some point, and Mulieri said she will try to get transportation.
Mulieri said she is bringing tables for the intake effort, and Waters is bringing water, shoes and information for residents in many areas. He also has computer equipment to help with the intake.
The Volunteer Way, a New Port Richey area nonprofit, is hauling in a truckful of goodies including bleach, cleaning supplies, food, diapers and hygiene products.
George Romagnoli, director of community development for Pasco County, has been looking into rentals for the elderly and also put out a call for donations.
Documents people will need to bring with them for the intake process include their Social Security number, identification, papers related to deposits placed and information on the number in their family and family income, as well as info on government assistance received. If they are veterans, they need to bring paperwork related to this, as well.