Arnold Schwarzenegger Extends Help to 102-Year-Old Woman Facing Eviction
Former California Governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger said he will make a move to help 102-year-old Thelma Smith who is being forced out of her home in California by her landlord.
Smith has lived in her home in Ladera Heights for almost 30 years. Recently, she received an eviction notice from her landlord because he intends to move his daughter into the residence once she graduates from law school.
"Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless."
The senior woman was given the notice to vacate by June 30. However, the story of her situation is drawing compassion and guarantees for help.
Schwarzenegger, 71, tweeted his support of Smith on May 24, alongside a Los Angeles Times article on the story.
A fruit basket from @Schwarzenegger & a promise to help his 102 year old friend Thelma Smith. She’s being evicted from home of nearly 30 years in unincorporated #LaderaHeights so landlord’s daughter can move in. @ABC7 11pm #abc7eyewitness pic.twitter.com/CUxm80I8n9— Eileen Frere (@abc7eileen) May 25, 2019
"Thelma has been a dear friend for a long time," he wrote. "Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless. Thelma, I’ll be reaching out to help. Landlords, you’ll hear from me too."
The eviction notice is currently being investigated by the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. They check whether the act is in accordance with the county's interim Rent Stabilization Ordinance.
Mark Ridley-Thomas, the County Supervisor, stated he is also investigating the matter.
According to the Associated Press, Smith is a retired secretary for the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation and knows Schwarzenegger through his work with the charity.
We will stay close to this very sensitive matter. This special lady deserves the best we have to offer and then some. @EveryoneIn_LA @LACountyDCBA @EmpowerCongress @ABC7 https://t.co/ADOZ7nMSXG— Mark Ridley-Thomas (@mridleythomas) May 25, 2019
Throughout the years, Smith lost most of her loved ones, including her husband. Her remaining family resides on the East Coast.
Smith's choices are limited to moving in with somebody nearby or moving into an assisted living facility, which she couldn't afford.
Thelma has been a dear friend for a long time. Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless. Thelma, I’ll be reaching out to help. Landlords, you’ll hear from me too. https://t.co/IJQrclGQ6I— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) May 24, 2019
Meanwhile, her loved ones are searching for different places for her to live in the region. A GoFundMe page has also been created in her name.