ESCALON — You could say the people living at Del Rio Mobile Home Park are living here on borrowed time — but it’s not borrowed. They paid for it.
“We’re getting treated like squatters, basically,” one resident said.
Each one of them got an eviction notice at the beginning of January. It gave them five days to get out — just five days.
“This came as a major shock to them — residents who have been paying rent to this person who has pretended to be the owner. When, in fact, it’s actually a sister,” said Javier Castro with California Rural Legal Assistance.
Castro is representing some of the tenants.
He says Gretchen Simpa is the legal owner of the place, but for years, her brother has been collecting rent. Now Simpa is evicting everybody and the paperwork says she considers the people living here to be squatters because they weren’t paying her, so now she can evict them any time.
” We don’t know what will happen later today or tomorrow,” Castro said.
“We didn’t care who we payed the money to, as long as we got to stay here,” resident Ronnie Lemas said.
Still, residents say while they did get an eviction notice, what they weren’t getting in early January was water.
“The electricity and the water went off last week for about six days,” resident Alyson Dyer said.
Dyer had to find somewhere else to go with her baby.
“You can’t have a child with no heat and running water,” she said.
Now they are getting their water from a nearby church while scrambling to find a new place to live, and figure out a way to get their homes out of there.