KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The residents at Heart Mobile Village will need to find a new place to live, however, Jackson County says they will help them move.
County leaders met with residents in a heated meeting Tuesday night, but they promised residents they would do everything they can to help them.
Heart Village will soon be the new site of the Jackson County Detention Center which means more than 100 people who live at the park will need to move.
A little over a week ago the legislature voted to purchase the property and it came as a surprise for many of the residents. The county said they will help residents move anywhere they would like to go in the metro.
“Tonight we will go through what our plans are for the site and how that will impact you over the next six months,” county administrator, Troy Schulte said.
Residents say they were in the dark about the purchase, and don’t know why they had to pick a location that would displace people.
“Kansas City has been purging itself of low-income housing for years and it’s getting exceptionally scarce this seems like a real step backwards,” resident Rob Jennings said.
“I would have to move everything out of our trailers – there’s no way I could do it,” resident Urban Schaefer said.
The county plans to cover moving costs and give each household $5,000 for any incidental costs.
“Five thousand dollars is okay but honestly, finding a new location would be even better,” resident Ronisha Rogers said.
“It’s just devastating, They just need to come better. They need to put a better package together for us,” resident Cassandra Bullock said.
“We have no idea. A lot of trailer parks won’t take my trailer because it’s an ’84, They want newer trailers. Even though it’s nice on the inside they say it has to look new on the outside, and of course mine don’t,” Schaefer said.
While the county said they will pay for the moving costs, they will also be asking people to pay rent until they move, even after taking over from Heart Village. Many say it takes away from the money the county is giving them to start over.
FOX4 asked Schulte if there was a possibility the rent could be reduced to help residents transition into their new homes.
“We may be able to do that too. At this point we don’t even know what it costs to operate this facility on a monthly basis so we may be able to do that too,” Schulte said.
He said they will need to discuss it at the next meeting of the county legislature, and could vote to approve a reduction. Schulte said he understands residents are concerned, but he intends to make sure no one suffers from the change.
“We recognize there’s going to be a little short term pain, but a long term gain for the overall public safety of the county with a new modern facility that will take care of our inmates for the foreseeable future and we’re going to make sure the people impacted by this are taken care of,” Schulte said.
“Let’s just say that I hope they do the right thing,” Rogers said.
The county said they will track the residents to ensure that they do get back on their feet. Once the move is completed a report will be presented to the legislature to show the amount of residents they were able to help and how.
The county plans to take control of the park in mid-August and have everyone moved in six months. The owner of Heart Village did not attend the meeting.