Mobile Home Park Cleared, But Transition Tough - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mobile Home Park Cleared, But Transition Tough

August 24, 2007

Albany - - It's been almost a month now since residents in the Georgian Mobile Home Estates in East Albany were forced to move out of their homes, supposedly to make way for a new Wal-Mart. Albany officials say now it does not look like Wal-Mart will be coming after all, but many people who live and work in East Albany say their community is safer now that the mobile home park is shut down. The transition has been hard for some former park residents.

Police say the mobile home park was a hotbed for crime. Now, no one lives there. All residents had to be out July 31st.

"That's something we've been waiting on around here for quite a while, for them to clean up that area back there," says Ricky Hatcher who owns El Lobo Hairstyles, just next door to the former mobile home park.

He says he notices a difference.

"It's cleaner, we don't have the prostitutes running around, we don't have the pan handlers running around," Hatcher says.

For Barbara Dotson, the transition hasn't been easy.

"I worked two and a half months tearing down trailers just to get money to move my trailer," she says.

Dotson now is barely living in Lob Lolly Estates.

"I cant use my electrical oxygen, the one that makes its own oxygen because I don't have any power."

No electricity and no money. Dotson says when she moved from her old community, she was left with a hefty electric bill. She says it was a result of water leaks from several trailers preparing for the move.

"Right now, I'm just about where I can't have nothing to eat because I ain't got no power to cook."

With no income coming in, she's awaiting disability. And until it comes, she'll just have to live like this.

She says none of these problems would exist if she was still living in her former home of 11 years. It's the price she says she has to pay for what others call peace of mind.

"Crime has moved on I suppose," Hatcher says.

Because what was home for so many, for so long is now gone.

Dotson says she understands people want to feel safe, but also feels there should have been more accommodations for residents there who lived on fixed or little incomes.

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