JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. — Residents at Heart Village Mobile Home Park are reflecting on their victory from Monday and preparing to relocate in order for the new Jackson County jail to be built on the property where they currently live.
“I just hope they get me a new home because I can't take mine with me,” said Lee Mahana, a 29-year resident at Heart Village Mobile Home Park.
The Jackson County Legislature approved a $1.7 million relocation plan for residents that includes $10,000 per family. As part of the plan, the county also agreed to pay residents’ rent until their relocation and will cover relocation expenses, in addition to the $10,000.
For nearly 30 years, Mahana made Heart Village his home, but as he readies for a move, he and others want the county to do more to help.
“I have a heart operation I have coming up Wednesday that I’ve been preparing for the last three weeks for that,” Mahana said, “and that was before finding out about all this move. It’s just too much stuff going on that’s not right.”
Still, a gathering of residents Friday’s night was like a ray of hope for Mahana and his neighbors as they looked ahead to what’s next.
“We’re hoping that we get our emails answered from legislatures,” said RoNisha Rogers, resident at Heart Village Mobile Home Park. “We are hoping that we get actual cash instead of the rental assistance that they are offering.”
Since the meeting Monday with the Jackson County Legislature, residents told KSHB 41 News they have had some miscommunication issues with Heart Village management.
“As of lately, we have had a couple more letters on our door stating that we have to pay rent even though legislatures say we didn’t have to pay rent,” Rogers said. “They’re demanding that we come up with answers as far as making decisions that we were given six months to make.”
KSHB 41 News attempted to contact management by phone and text to numbers provided by Rogers, but did not receive a response.
Right now, residents hope to gain support from other legislators, like they have with Jalen Anderson, an at-large legislator in the 1st District.
“Me and several of my colleagues say we have got to do something else,” Anderson said. “We have got to improve this program. We can only do so much, but when people come and they have a united voice like they did that’s huge. But it’s also going to take continuous emails and letters and phone calls.”