Looking for a little compassion? You won’t find it in Clearwater, Florida. A retirement community there is working hard to evict its youngest resident — a six-year-old girl who lives with her grandparents. If they’re successful, the child could be placed in foster care.
Jimmy and Judy Stottler have been legal guardians of their granddaughter Kimberly for about four years, after her mother lost custody due to a chronic drug problem. But their Home Owners Association bylaws clearly state that all residents of the community must be 55 years or older. Bringing Kimberly home created a stir among their neighbors.
Eventually, the Stottler’s decided to move. But despite lowering the price on their home from $250K to $129K, it just won’t sell. Now it’s up to a judge to decide whether Kimberly can stay until her family sells their home, or whether she alone will be evicted. If that happens, she could be placed into state custody until her grandparents can find another place to live.
The video below makes it clear why some of these community residents chose a child-free neighborhood. It doesn’t take much imagination to picture one Leland Wheeler shaking his fist and yelling at neighborhood kids to get off his lawn. These people bought homes in a child-free community, and they have a right to protect their way of life.
But they also have it in them to show a little compassion. Allowing a temporary emergency exception for Kimberly and her family won’t open up their neighborhood to a flood of noisy children. But removing her from the only home and the only parents she’s ever known does leave them wide open for criticism.
Because just because you’re right doesn’t make it right, you know?