Juanita Fitzgerald of Eustis, Florida, was just two days away from her 94th birthday when police came knocking on her door and arrested her for trespassing. The senior had been late on delivering her $161 rent and was no longer welcomed to live in her assisted living facility.
Juanita was cuffed and carried out of her apartment, unable to grab a single possession.
“Everything I got is gone,” she cried while in handcuffs.
A $500 bail was posted, but she was released on her own recognizance and didn’t spend her birthday behind bars. The Mid Florida Homeless Coalition met with Juanita on Friday, December 15, 2017, and moved her into a motel so that she wouldn’t be on the streets after her release.
“We’re working with her to try to accommodate her as soon as possible,” the organization’s board member, B.E. Thompson, told the Orlando Sentinel.
Staff at the senior living facility said that Juanita turned down help to find new housing. They also said that she didn’t pay rent because she told them she would be dying soon. According to Juanita, she offered half of what she owned but her attempt to pay that was turned away.
Thankfully, for now, Juanita is getting help with her living situation.
Another Florida resident is trying to raise money for Juanita through a GoFundMe page. So far, they’ve raised $1,679 for her.
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