The deadline for residents of Jack’s Resort RV Resort to vacate the place they call home has now arrived. But the tenants of the ramshackle RV park near Mendota don’t know when or if they’ll be thrown off the property, where they might go or whether any help is on the way.
Thirty days have come and gone since the landlord gave 23 residents living there a notice to vacate.
A state inspection found 161 code violations at the site. Among them is a failure to obtain the required permits from the state to allow tenants to rent spaces for RV’s and trailers.
Jack’s Resort resident Graciela Reyes
Residents Have Nowhere to Go
Some residents we spoke with say they aren’t moving.
Eddie Mendoza is holding his ground, not out of principle, but out of necessity. He’s a cancer survivor on disability.
“There ain’t no other place to put our trailers. We can’t afford a house. This is the cheapest for us, so we can have somewhere to stay. I don’t know what’s going to happen because he shut it down.”
Like other residents in the park, Mendoza keeps his trailer stationary. He faces challenges trying to leave.
“Some of us have no way of moving our trailers. The farthest we can move is all the way to Fresno. There’s no other trailer park around here,” Mendoza said.
Graciela Reyes also lives at Jacks’ Resort. She said through an interpreter she doesn’t know what to do if she has to leave. She says she has no place to go, and plans to stay.
At least three residents reached out to the non-profit Central California Legal Services for help. CCLS tells GV Wire it is considering options, but has not taken action yet.
Elected Leaders React
GV Wire reached out to elected leaders who represent the area.
“I encourage those residents and landowners to work together with their city and county representatives toward a mutually beneficial resolution.”—State Sen. Anthony Cannella
Fresno County Supervisor Brian Pacheco says the county is working with the state to assist the residents. However, residents we spoke to haven’t seen the help.
State Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), whose district covers the Mendota area, sent this statement via email:
“Access to affordable housing in California has many challenges and those who find themselves between health and safety disputes and their landlord are particularly vulnerable. I encourage those residents and landowners to work together with their city and county representatives toward a mutually beneficial resolution. If my office can be of assistance, we are more than happy to help.”
The office of Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) said he’s aware of GV Wire’s reporting, but declined to say if he is doing anything about it.
Park Owner Downplays Complaints
And what about the owner, Saeed Mohamed? We went searching for him at grocery stores he owns with his family in Mendota and Huron. We eventually found him in Coalinga.
Mohammed said he was working with officials to fix his place. He dismissed residents’ complaints regarding problems at Jack’s Resort found by state inspectors.
We wanted to know if Mohamed was doing anything to help those on his property. That’s when he kicked us out.
Back at Jack’s Resort, Eddie Mendoza said he just wants Mohamed to take responsibility.
“I would tell Mr. Mohamed to reimburse all our money back,” Mendoza said. “He did something that he knew that was wrong.”