Minister’s Musings, May 6, 2020

Beloved UUCH Members and Friends,

As we enter our 7th week of stay-at-home orders, I hope you are all safe and well.  This Sunday we will celebrate Mother’s Day – one that many of us will remember for a long time!  I’m so appreciative of all the moms and dads out there who are finding loving and caring ways to keep children engaged during this time.

As we’re all aware, the pandemic has affected different families in different ways, and those with fewer resources are being affected the most.  Last Tuesday Justice Untied leaders met to hear proposals for action to address some serious health and safety issues at three local mobile home parks.  These concerns have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Park A is calling for the owner to repair a septic system that is causing standing septic water and strong foul odors in the neighborhood, repair the road full of potholes, add lighting to the street, and remove sickened trees that are hanging over residents’ homes.

Park B is calling for the owner to have a well inspected that shuts down at least once a year for up to two weeks, install water softeners, forgive debt that has accumulated due to inaccurate accounting, and ensure more responsive communications with the management company.

Park C residents have been especially hard hit by the COVID-19 job losses, and are asking the owner to provide a 50% discount and waive late payments while the COVID-19 effects last.  They are also asking that the owner stop the current manager’s threats against residents organizing, including preventing the eviction of a targeted leader.  They also have sick trees that need to be removed.

Justice United is asking that 10 members from each of our congregations commit to attend Zoom meetings held with the owners of these mobile home parks.  If we can show that 80-100 concerned citizens support these negotiations, we can make a huge difference in the lives of these neighbors.

A Justice United research team learned that two of the park owners are wealthy real estate investors based in Charlotte, with multi-million dollar properties.  They have the resources to fix these problems!  If you are willing to be part of the negotiation calls (you do not need to enter into the negotiations, just be present on the call) please contact me.  I will forward your contact information to Devin Ross who will notify us of when the calls will take place.

In faith,

Rev. Patty