City Cuts Off Life O'Riley Family Motel Payments

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LAJNSING (WILX)-- It's been a month since 85 families were forced out of the Life O'Riley mobile home park in South Lansing. Now one family is back to square one.

"I need someone to help us out, I've been praying every day," said Tim Walker.

Walker and his family are victims of the Life O'Riley condemnation. He, his wife, aunt, and pets been living in a motel room for the past month, but have been told they need to be out by Monday.

"We'll have to live in our van. But my problem is my aunt who is 74 years old and living with us. She has to have oxygen 24 hours a day," said Walker.

The city has found the Walkers affordable housing that would allow them to keep their pets, and has agreed to pay the first months rent. But Walker says he can't afford the $690 dollar deposit fee.

"We have a place to go, I just don't have the money to fork out because we have a van payment."

Around 92% of everyone who had been living in Life O'Riley has found new housing. Lansing's Human Services and Community Relations Department is aware of Walkers situation, and has been in contact with him.

"The motel maybe nicer than where they were, but ideally that's not suitable for long term living. That never was the intent," said Dr. Joan Jackson Johnson, Director of Lansing's Human Services.

The city has already spent thousands of dollars towards Life O'Riley residents, and a line has to be drawn.

"We've spent fifty thousand to date with Life O' Riley individuals and that's just housing. The next step is 100% compliance or you're on you're own," said Jackson Johnson.

Walker and his family will have to reach out to the city again. It's possible they will be put in a shelter, if Walker can't come up with the money by Monday.

"Mr. Walker has to meet us half-way. There is only so much that we can do without the cooperation of the citizens," said Jackson Johnson.

Not all of the Life O' Riley residents still living in motels have been told to move out. The city has decided to individualize each family's circumstance.


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