LADERA HEIGHTS, Calif. – A 102-year-old woman is being forced out of her home, reports CBS Los Angeles. Family and friends of Thelma Smith are banding together after she received an eviction notice, forcing her to relocate from her home of almost 30 years.
Smith’s landlord intends to move his daughter into the residence once she graduates from law school. Smith, a retired executive of a non-profit group, has lost most of her family over the years, including her husband, and her remaining family lives on the East Coast.
Her family and friends say her options are limited to moving in with someone nearby or moving into an assisted living facility, which is difficult to do on her fixed income.
“She couldn’t afford it; she would need some assistance from county and other friends to support her in these places,” said family friend Antonio Avelino.
“She has not accepted the fact that, after these many years, that she has to leave,” he said. “Right now, it’s the unknown that’s bothering her as far relocating to any place.”
The Los Angeles Times notes that L.A.’s rent control law offers relocation assistance for the elderly and disabled. But Ladera Heights is an unincorporated section of Los Angeles County, just outside the city limits, and the law doesn’t apply there.
CBS L.A.’s Amy Johnson spoke to the landlord.
“We know legally you can make her leave, but 102? Would you kick out a 102-year-old woman?” Johnson asked.
He replied by saying, “Would you take care of your child?”
“The only thing that I can say is that I’ve tried to live a good life, I’ve never wanted to harm anybody,” said Smith.