By Bob and Kathy Littlefield
Residents of the Wheel Inn Ranch Trailer Park in South Scottsdale are being evicted from their homes and forced to relocate to other housing. Many have lived in this park for decades and over the years have helped to create the City of Scottsdale we all love. Most of them are now elderly, disabled, low income and, for the first time frightened of what their future holds for them.
The park’s new owner has told the residents they must be gone by the end of January to make way for his future development. Unfortunately, most of the park’s mobile homes are too old and fragile to be moved, so owners will be forced to abandon their homes, even though many residents have sunk their life savings into buying them and adding extensions to them. Even the homes that can be moved will be expensive to move, plus all external improvements (such as porches and carports) must be left behind.
Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield has worked with the City’s Community and Human Services staff to coordinate assistance from city, state and federal agencies. This includes the Veteran’s Administration, since some of these residents are veterans or spouses of veterans all the way back to World War II. However, this assistance only scratches the surface of what is needed to insure our fellow residents are safely relocated into housing they can afford by the January deadline.
That is why we are organizing this fundraiser and asking for your help. To insure all funds are properly accounted for and will be spent where they will do the most good, we have put together a committee of community leaders who will oversee the collection and disbursement of funds. Everyone involved in this effort is a volunteer: no one is getting paid, and all of the money collected will go to help the Wheel Inn Ranch residents. The committee members are: Former City Councilman Bob Littlefield, City Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield, co-chair of the Scottsdale Coalition, Nancy Cantor, South Scottsdale neighborhood activist and non-profit executive, Cindy Hill, and Tonolea neighborhood activist, Jim Heather. Advisors to the committee are City Councilman Guy Phillips and Coronado neighborhood resident Martha Seaman, a Deacon with the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and President of the Valley Interfaith Project.
You can make a tax deductible contribution to help through “Arizona LEOS,” an IRS-approved 501c3 charity which sponsors an Aging Safely program. If you donate online via PayPal please check “Add special instructions to the seller:” and write “Wheel Inn Ranch” in the box provided when you checkout. To contribute by check, make it out to “Arizona LEOS” and mail it to Wheel Inn Ranch Fund, 8414 E. Vista Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85250. Please write “Wheel Inn Ranch” on the memo line and include your email address so we can save postage costs and email you a receipt.
The people at Wheel Inn Ranch are proud and independent folks who had secured a home and quiet lifestyle that met their needs and that they could afford. Now that their park is being destroyed, they do not know what to do or even how to ask for help.
So we are asking for them. Please help in assisting these Scottsdale citizens who, through no fault of their own, now stand in such urgent and desperate need.
Thank you so very much.
Bob & Kathy Littlefield