Life O’Riley Assistance Costs To Exceed $200,000 - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Life O’Riley Assistance Costs To Exceed $200,000

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The costs associated with assisting and relocating more than 250 people who once lived in the Life O’Riley Mobile Home Park are expected to exceed $200,000, according to the City of Lansing.

Dr. Joan Jackson Johnson, director of the Human Relations and Community Services department, said on Thursday both the city and the state are helping to cover the costs, which include moving expenses, motel fees, home furnishings, food, transportation and more.

“The services that were needed were certainly above and beyond our wildest imagination,” said Jackson Johnson. “What would you do if these were your neighbors? These are citizens of the city. The units they were in were condemned through no fault of the citizens, so we couldn’t add them to our homeless list.”

The biggest cost for the City of Lansing has been from putting former Life O’Riley residents in motels; Jackson Johnson said that bill amounted to more than $50,000.

The city also worked with the Lansing Housing Commission and other agencies to make sure people had housing once they left the motels. Star Wilson, a former Life O’Riley resident, said she received help from Capital Area Community Services, which provided her with a deposit for a rental home, as well as the first and second month’s rent. “I love it, actually,” said Wilson. “It’s much better than a trailer.”

While the city and state have given financial assistance to many, Jackson Johnson emphasized they are complementing their assistance with educational offerings to help many of the former Life O’Riley residents be self-sufficient. “We’ve partnered with Community Mental Health, we’re partnering with [Department of Human Services], we’re partnering with Tri-County Office on Aging, we’re partnering with Volunteers of America, with Advent House for their good works, employment programs,” said Jackson Johnson. “We need to expose and educate our brothers and sisters to the resources they’ve missed out on.”
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