Most people don’t make it
Thelma Smith was getting ready to celebrate her 102nd birthday. Over the years, she lost her husband and most of her family members. When you are 102-years-old, it is not uncommon to have outlived your entire family. This is the case with Thelma. She spent most of her life in a rented house in Ladera Heights, California. She loved her home and had been living in the neighborhood for many, many years.
When Thelma woke up on her 102nd birthday, she was thankful. She was grateful that she managed to live such a full life. As she was thinking about her life, she heard a knock on the door. It was a sheriff, and he was serving her an eviction notice. She couldn’t believe her eyes. She was caught up on her rent, and she was a good tenant, so she decided to make a phone call to figure out what was going on.
When Thelma finally got a hold of her landlord, she asked why she was being evicted. He told her that his daughter had just finished graduate school, and she needed a place to live, so he was giving her the house. Thelma tried to understand. Sure, it was her landlord’s house, so she couldn’t say too much about him wanting to give his daughter the house, but she was panicked. Where was she going to live?
When Thelma heard that she was getting evicted, she panicked. She lived on a fixed income, so it would be impossible for her to move into an assisted living facility. Thelma was still in relatively good health, so she didn’t need to go to a nursing home. She didn’t know what she was going to do. According to a family friend, Antonio Avelino, the thing that bothered Themla the most was the uncertainty. She didn’t want to relocate to a new place because she didn’t know where she would end up. If she was going to find a new place to live, Antonio says that she would need some assistance from the country and other friends to help her get into a new home. He added that it was just too much for her to deal with considering her age. He also said that he was angry with her landlord because of all days to serve an eviction notice, he waited until the day that she turned 102.
It didn’t take long for Thelma’s story to surface online. Antonio has posted something on social media about this poor 102-year-old woman being forced out of her home with no place to go. It wasn’t long before the post went viral. People were sharing the post and commenting on it, giving Thelma their support. The post made it to a very famous person who was going to do what he could to help Thelma. It was Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor and former governor of California.
The former governor took to Twitter to speak out about what was happening to Thelma. In the post, he wrote, “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.” His post went viral as well, and over 24,000 people liked it.
When the news caught wind of the story, they went over to interview the landlord. CBS LA News’ Amy Johnson was the reporter who spoke with him. When she asked him why he evicted Thelma, he said, “Would you take care of your child?” He was sure that he was right, regardless of the backlash he was getting from people all over the country.
Shortly after the station reported Thelma’s story, a GoFundMe page was set up in her name. It wasn’t long before over $7,000 was donated to set Thelma up in a new home. She says she is thrilled that so many people care about her and are willing to donate money to help her start over.
Thelma hates the idea of starting over in a new place. All of her memories exist in the home where she was evicted