City Helping Life O'Riley Community Find Homes

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LANSING (WILX)-- Imagine being told your home is condemned because of raw sewage issues, only to see it destroyed by fire less than 24-hours later.

That's what a family at Life O'Riley trailer park woke up to Wednesday morning.

"We're in need of anything, because we lost it all, everything's gone," said Terra DeNike, owner of the trailer.

The family of five got out safe and are living with a neighbor for now. Investigators are still looking for the cause of the fire. They've ruled out arson.

The Red Cross, Homeless Angels, and the city have been trying to help DeNike, and the dozens of other families that live there.
DeNike won't be the only one to lose their home. Residents have less than ten days to move out after the trailer park was condemned by the Ingham Health Department Tuesday if it's not fixed.

"I just feel like when it rains it pours."

There's more than 80 trailers in the park. Most of them are still occupied. People are packing up, but the worry is they're not going to be able to make it before the deadline.

"I got a pregnant lady and kids. I'm like ten days, that's not enough time," said Qualeak Patterson, Life O'Riley resident.

"I'm trying not to cry and not to break down. I'm trying to stay tough and get it taken care of," said Jo Meade, Life O'Riley resident.

They have the right to be worried, a majority of those living in the park have yet to find a permanent place to relocate.
However, the city is doing everything it can to help the community.

"We will make this happen. I have faith we're going to make this happen. All the landlords, realtors and agencies here know time is of the essence," said Dr. Joan Jackson Johnson, Director of Lansing Human Services.

At the meeting it was clear there will not be enough immediate housing for everyone in need, but that doesn't mean the city will stop trying.

"Together we can. Singularly no, but together with the help from human services, our brothers and services, and their patience we will make that happen. "

The Capital Area Humane Society is helping people with pets, with vaccines and temporary placement.

Homeowners are also getting legal counseling, in case they want to file a lawsuit against the landlord of the trailer park.

We have repeatedly tried to contact him, but word is, he's down in Florida, where he owns other property.

If you would like to make a donation to the Life O'Riley community please call 517-483-4477 is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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