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Southwind Mobile Village makes plea for help

Posted at 3:32 PM, Sep 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-18 13:52:07-04

NAPLES, Fla. -- Some residents of Southwind Mobile Village in Naples got their first hot meal since Hurricane Irma.

The Salvation Army set up stations around Collier County, Saturday, to feed families in several different areas. "There have been around 10 to 12,000 people that we have fed since the storm," said Major Dan Proctor at the Salvation Army. "A lot of people are not going to have power for a while, including myself. So we cant to take care of as many people as we can."

Some in the community have lost their homes. Veronica Vidaurri tells Fox 4 she is staying at a relative's home, but said the Southwind community is still charging her rent for the lot her trailer is on. "They are asking us to pay rent, whether we're living on the property or not. Otherwise, we'll be evicted," she said through a translator. "I am very sad. When I came and saw everything, I cried. Not just for what's mine, but for everyone in the community."

Vidaurri made a plea on the behalf of her community for any lawyers or non-profit organizations to help them work with management at the community. "Any organization, please come help us in asking the owners of this community to defer our rent 6 months."

A Statement from Joel Brown, President, RHP Properties.

"Hurricane Irma has affected many in Florida and our residents at Southwind Village in Naples have been harshly impacted. As our Southwind residents struggle with the storm’s aftermath we have been providing resources and manpower to aid in the community’s cleanup, and ensure our residents’ security. The safety and wellbeing of our residents is our first priority. We have been working closely with the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other agencies to ensure residents have water and ready-to-eat meals. Our crews are working diligently to clean up the community and we have hired additional staff including plumbers to address water and sewage issues and added security from dusk to dawn to ensure our residents’ safety during this trying time. We are offering one month’s free rent at this time as we continue our cleanup and assessment of the damage to Southwind. For those residents who may need to replace their home, we are working now to provide new homes at cost. We will continue to work with local agencies and authorities to ensure our residents’ safety and to minimize their discomfort during this difficult time."