NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Angel Del Valle fears for his future.
“It’s nothing we can do,” said Del Valle.
He, along with many other families living in Patrick Henry Mobile Home Park are being forced out. They have until November, when the park closes, to pack up and leave.
“Right now, I feel like a homeless, right now,” Del Valle said. “Right now, I feel homeless not only me, but we have a lot of people, 80 families here. There’s a lot of kids here; they’re going to be homeless.”
In May, the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, which owns the land, made the announcement to shut the park down.
News 3 made Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) aware of what the families are going through.
His office sent a statement that read:
“As too many families in Virginia face rising costs, inflation, and exorbitant gas prices, the Governor works every day to aid families across Virginia in need and lower the cost of living. The Governor is aware of the situation at Patrick Henry mobile home park and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is looking into the matter.”
Meantime, tenants are holding onto hope, leaning on faith and one another under dire circumstances.
Faith Baptist Church brought the community together Saturday to pray and lift their spirits in a time of desperation.
“There’s a moral and ethical standard we should operate by,” said Shaun Evans, a Deacon at Faith Baptist Church. “Everybody talks about wanting to make this country better. Well, you don’t do it by doing an evil thing against the people who can least afford it.”
Airport officials offered tenants money to move out and abandon their trailers. The offer to buy the title to each trailer started at $2,000. Now, that incentive is down to $1,000 if tenants leave by the end of the month. After July, they don’t get anything.
“There’s so many emotions going through me right now that not knowing exactly where I’m going to go or anything,” said homeowner Beverley Snyder.
Snyder has lived in Patrick Henry Mobile Home Park for 22 years.
“I can’t afford to move,” she said.
She, and the other families there are living rent-free until November, but even still, Snyder said unless she sells her mobile home for more than what the airport is offering, she’ll be homeless.
“Right now, I really don’t have a place to go,” said Snyder. “We’re all hoping we can do something to try to get help for everybody, not just me.”
The airport’s executive director told News 3 they’re not making any money on the property, and it needs a lot of major work to fix ongoing issues. He also said there are no immediate plans for the land after the park closes.