While the concept of neighborliness may not mean what it once used to back in the day, one neighborhood in Hudson, Florida, is showing that it isn’t entirely dead.
In Nov. 2016, Angie Tyma learned she had been evicted from her home after discovering that the person she had sold her home to – on the agreement that she would continue to live in it – had moved to Europe and stopped paying the mortgage. The property then went into foreclosure.
Tyma had nobody to lean on. Her husband had died 20 years prior and she did not believe that she would be tossed onto the street, particularly at the age of 89. She told Today that being forced from her home was nothing short of terrifying for her, especially considering how long she had lived there.
“I went through hell and back,” the elderly woman told the outlet. “I’ve lived in this house for 35 years.”
She added: “They threw me out. I couldn’t believe it.”
The management company that took over the property wanted her out so badly that a team came by to forcefully evict her. Tyma told ABC Action News they threw out much of her furniture and possessions without thinking twice about it in the process.
“Heartless, really heartless,” Tyma told the outlet of the company’s actions.
After being forced from her home, Tyma had no choice but to rent a room at a nearby hotel.
Perturbed by the turn of events, her neighbors rallied together to try to find a solution.
Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video
Finally, Danielle Calder, who lived a few houses down from Tyma, managed to buy the house at an auction for $167,500 and rent it back to Tyma at a reasonable price, Today reported. However, Calder did not divulge the cost of the rent.
“Quite honestly, I didn’t need another house,” the 65-year-old Calder told the outlet. “But I needed her. I couldn’t see her living in a motel room… she’s been here so long. Everyone looks out for her.”
Calder herself lives in Massachusetts and Florida, and splits her time between the two states.
After three weeks of living at the Days Inn hotel – and coincidentally on her 89th birthday as well – Tyma was able to move back into her home in Dec. 2016. The house had also received a fresh layer of paint, courtesy of her friendly neighbors.
Tyma said being able to return to her own home was one of the best birthday gifts she had ever received.
“Usually one of my neighbors bakes me a cake every year, but this time, when I got out of the car, and saw all these people, and the media… I was in a state of shock,” she said. “I was speechless. I couldn’t even talk.”
She added her first order of business was to get all her furniture and things back in order.
“I’m unpacking all the boxes. I had a lot of stuff that was broken,” she said. “I’m cleaning.”
Tyma also expressed her gratitude to her neighbors, particularly her “very good friend and a good neighbor” Calder, for their help.
Calder, however, said the neighborhood would simply not have been the same without Tyma.
“Everybody knows Angie,” she told Today. “She has two little dogs that she walks. She’s an elderly woman, but she’s pretty feisty, and she has lots of energy.”
She added all she really wanted to do was help.
“It was the right thing to do,” she said, adding, “We’re family – the whole neighborhood.”
Meanwhile, viewers were moved by the camaraderie between the neighbors.
“The people who helped her out are wonderful. Thank you for restoring my faith in mankind,” one user wrote.
“You don’t find people like that every day, bless that family for helping her. And shame on her landlord that is ridiculous,” another commenter wrote.
“That is one amazing story of a community coming together. What a wonderful outcome for this woman. She is very lucky to have such kind, caring, and generous neighbors,” a third user added.
Many also poured scorn on how it was possible to kick an elderly woman out of her home so easily and the rough manner in which her situation was handled.
“We need new laws for the elderly, you can’t evict them without going to trial, a judge will decide how long that individual lived there, if it’s been over 20 years they can freeze any sale of that home or the new homeowner can’t evict that elderly person, either & can’t increase the rent, either,” one comment read.
Another sympathetic viewer wrote: “Why are u doing this to old people … shame on you.”
What do you think of Angie Tyma’s predicament and the way her neighbors rallied around her? Would the same happen in your own neighborhood? Let us know and don’t forget to pass this on to neighbors, friends, family and loved ones.