DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – Earlier this year we told you about folks living in the Juleswood Mobile Home Park in Darlington County who got a letter from their landlord giving them 30 days to find somewhere else to live. Finally though, after months of fighting, residents suddenly seem to have much to be thankful for.
The few remaining residents living on the property said they had been blessed, others claimed their prayers had been answered. Whatever it was, it came in the form of new property owner Wesley Rollins of Rock Hill, SC, who told residents that they can stay where they live for as long as they wish. Rollins took over the deed to Juleswood in late October.
“We are grateful, we are thankful!” exclaimed David Gregg, arms triumphantly lifted in a V above his head.
It’s been a long hard fight for 38-year Juleswood resident David Gregg and his neighbors.
After the previous landowner passed away, the owner’s estate tried to sell the land. Gregg and others living there at the time were told that they–and their mobile homes–had 30 days to get out.
“I’ve been living here 38 years and counting,” Gregg quipped. He said his age, poor health, and low income made it nearly impossible for him to move.
“My mobile home is a 1971 mobile home,” He explained. “But now thanks to the good and mighty Master, it’s mine and the Lord’s.”
Rev. Gore, Ms. Jackson, residents of the community, and other politicians spoke several times to both Darlington County and city councils, state and federal housing agencies, and explored legal options that might allow the residents to stay–no matter who owned the land.
“Our objective overall is to prevent homelessness,” said Rev. Gore. Gore directs the Darlington Family Engagement Program, and said he’s proud they were able to attract a new owner, avoiding a legal battle, and keeping Gregg and his neighbors right where they want to be.
“We were happy just to be able to help these people in this community,” Gore smiled. “And reach some resolution and be able to stay here where they’ve been 15, 20, maybe 30 years.”
Many officials–residents, volunteers, politicians, etc.–tell News 13 that David Gregg deserved recognition for standing up for his rights and those of his neighbors.
Jackson and Gore said they plan pursue funding to get Mr. Gregg an upgrade on his 1971 mobile home.
“His trailer is in the condition where it needs to be rehabbed or improved or a new one needs to be replaced,” Jackson said.
Wes Rollins, the new owner of the Juleswood property, spoke briefly on the phone to News 13 Wednesday afternoon.
He said big plans were already in the works to improve the neighborhood, including paving the road in and out of the development, landscaping, and trash collections, all in an effort to help eventually get David Gregg dozens more neighbors very soon.