Time is up for residents at Wedgefield mobile home park

LAKE CITY, SC (WMBF) - Time is up for Wedgefield residents in Lake City who received eviction notices to move their mobile homes off the property after Greater Lake City Community, a non-profit company, bought the land.

The first eviction letter, given in June, called for resident to be gone within 60 days. Last month, a judge gave the remaining residents a fourth and final deadline of Wednesday.

Yamekia Robinson, a representative for the majority of the Wedgefield residents, said since the last meeting with the judge on Feb. 28, a lot has taken place.

Early Wednesday, a few residents had their homes removed. Some, due to finances or poor conditions, had no choice but to abandon them.

Fifty families once lived on the property, many for most of their lives. Now, there are less than 10 residents left.

"To see people now move into their new homes - their new destinations - it's been very … it's been nice. It's been good in a way, I can say, cause people just want to put this behind them," Robinson said. "It's been just an ordeal. It's been such a long road through this process."

Still, there were some residents, like Edward McKenzie, who were unable to move by the final deadline.

McKenzie has lived in Wedgefield for many years. He remembers the day he received an eviction notice last June.

"It was kind of like, you know, boom, 60 days," McKenzie said. "That was a short period of time, you know, to tell people, you know, you have 60 days to move. It was shocking to me."

Since the first eviction notice, a judge has extended the move-out deadline four times over the past nine months. For McKenzie, that's still not enough.

He's lived in Wedgefield for over 30 years and, like many residents, he's unable to move his home because of old age.

"Because this trailer was here for so long - you can tell by the tongue of it - it dropped down so far into the ground so it's really an old model trailer," McKenzie said.

McKenzie was still working on what to do with his mobile home despite Wednesday being the final deadline. At first, he put up for-sale signs, but has since taken them down.

"For all this to take place, it's devastating. You know, as a human being you know, it's hard to just get up and go from a place you've been so long," he said.

Ultimately, the process has been physically and mentally draining for many residents. McKenzie said it may finally be time to let his home go.

"As far as right now, you know, with so much stress that I have went through, I really just want all this to get behind me," he said.

After Wednesday, Greater Lake City Community can file an order to have the Florence County Sheriff's Office come in and assist in removing the remaining residents.

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