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Lehigh woman says eviction looms as she cares for sick family

Posted at 11:04 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 23:08:57-05

LEHIGH ACRES, FLA — UPDATE 2/4:

Last night, a woman watching FOX 4 News at 10 offered to catch up Blake's rent so her family can remain in the home.


2021 hasn't gotten off to the easiest start for Chynna Blake.

"My mom got COVID [in December]. She tested positive for COVID and pneumonia."

And that's not all. Her grandma, who lives with her mom, is now sick too.

"She tested negative for then but they say she does have pneumonia," said Blake, "Once that happened, I had to move my mom into my home so she can quarantine."

Now Blake says she's playing caretaker at both houses while caring for a mentally ill child and working from home.

"I haven't fallen apart yet, but it's coming," she said.

And on top of everything else, she says she's now facing eviction from her home, despite letting her landlord know what was going on.

"He's just focused on, I want my money or get out," she said.

Blake says she's behind on January's rent and has been looking for programs to help her get it paid.

"Most of the programs denied me because they said that I make too much or I make too little or I'm not on the income spectrum to even qualify," she said.

FOX 4 reached out to her landlord, Joseph Spinatto, to see if anything could be done.

Despite text messages that say otherwise, Spinatto denies threatening to evict Blake and released the following statement:

First of all, I inform you that no process has been initiated against Chynna Blake, on the contrary, patiently I have waited for her to provide me with the contact of the person who will help her with the payments, which until now she has not let me know.

As was done in the months of September to December 2020, where she provided me with contact and I communicated with that person and a happy ending was reached. Now she says she's working with a different agency than the previous one, and that's why I've been asking her to give me a name and an email so I could coordinate the same thing that was done last year. Finally, I tell you that there is no problem negotiating the late payment, I am just waiting for her to propose something reasonable. Currently, she must pay January 2021 and February 2021 to expire on the 5th of this month.

We asked Blake if he had told her any of that and she's says no.

"It still leaves me in a gray area," Blake said.

As far as when she'll have the money, Blake says at this point she doesn't know.

"I don't know how much time my mom may have or how much time my grandma may have, but I am working to try to get everything in order for everyone," she said.

But in the meantime, she's says hoping he can get around to fixing several maintenance issues with the home and is asking him for some compassion.

"I understand you know you guys have to pay your bills as well but right now we are in a worldwide pandemic," she said.

FOX 4 did also ask Spinatto about those maintenance requests that Blake says she put in, but he did not reply to those questions.