A retired sheriff’s deputy, who doesn’t want to be identified for fear of retaliation is temporarily living at a motel. He can barely get around and has a hard time breathing, he should be resting in his own home at the Riverdale Estates in Indio where he’s lived for 15 years, but senior mobile home community has been without water and power since Friday.
“Every year we have constant problems with electrical system, which means that we don’t have electricity or water for days,” says the deputy.
Treehouse communities, the company that runs the mobile home park put residents who don’t have power up in a motel.
But the deputy says he had just bought groceries and they bad and can’t afford to buy more. He says he’s experienced hunger.
“Angry, I can’t describe the word angry anymore, it’s just bad, it’s just bad right now,” says the deputy.
Some have stayed behind using generators or back up power, but Rita Sample who’s lived there 13 years says that doesn’t solve the water issue, “We have to go get the water out of the pool and carry it back here to flush our toilets with and my back went out yesterday trying to reach in there to get the water.”
An Indio resident whose mom lives there says it’s bad enough when it happens every year, but doing this to seniors during a pandemic is beyond the pale, “She’s having to go back and forth to come back here and get clothes and what have you go back to the hotel, come back, go back to the hotel and with us being with the pandemic it makes it a lot more stressful and dangerous, if they happen to get sick, a lot of these elderly people have underlying conditions and it may be deadly for them.”
We reached out to the City of Indio, they told us they would be looking into it.
We reched out to Councilmember Waymond Fermon, he says he found out about the situation on Sunday, “When I heard of the news, I was alarmed,” adding that he and the city manager sent over staff from water and power to help, “they advised us that they had a private contractors coming so they turned us down but they turned us down and so I want to monitor the situation because it’s very serious, we have to find a long term solution.”
Those who live there say they just want to live their retirement years with dignity.
“All of us work so hard all our lives we come there to live and enjoy our life whatever we have left and it’s not that way, they don’t care,” says the deputy.
We reached out to Treehouse, the company that runs the community, they did not return our call.
We also reached out to Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. He wanted to address the immediate need for food, so his office arranged for FIND Food Bank to deliver food to seniors.
And Fermon contacted WinCo Foods, they donated hot meals for the evening, and he delivered them to both Riverdale and the motel where the residents were staying.
After our inquiries, late Monday evening water and power was restored.
Fermon says he will be following up to make sure there is a permanent solution.