MILTON — "They came and packed up the trailer and we are getting moved sometime tomorrow," Melissa Nason said Jan. 28, barely containing the excitement in her voice.
For Nason and her children it has been seven months of living without running water. Nason and one other Westgate Mobile Home Park resident, that did not want to be identified, were thought to have been the last residents living at the park. They owned their own trailers but did not have the finances to move the trailers.
The park’s water was shut off July 13 by judicial order after the Florida Department of Health filed a civil complaint against owner Carla J. Lear. The failure of the septic tank caused raw sewage to flow onto open ground creating a health hazard. Lear did not make repairs and lost the property’s permit to operate as a mobile home park and residents had to move. That is when United Way stepped in to help.
Kyle Holley, acting Administrator and Major Gifts Manager, went to the United Way Board and asked if he could help these 12 families. The board approved Holley's request. Holley collected donations and was able to cover most of the moving costs. The remaining amounts were funded by United Way disaster donations with the board's approval.
Originally, one family said they had the money to move. According to Holley, that family has since come back to purchase one of the intact trailers, but will not have the money to move it to a new location. There was concern about one other family that may need some additional help, but Holley had to get more information.
So, as King Mobile Home Services pulled the last of their two trailers out of Westgate last Friday, Holley was back on the phone coordinating help more people. He was not fazed by the news that he may have to help again at the same location.
"That's what the money is for, to help people," Holley said. "You know, there are some people out there that don't know how to ask for help."
Holley loves his work. He said he loves the challenge of a difficult problem. He also likes to have options available for the clients that come in for assistance.
Holley said he is not there to go down a checklist with his clients to find a reason to disqualify them, but to find a way to help.