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A mobile home park isn’t just a place where people live. It’s a community. And it takes more than one person and one home to make up a community.

Do you know what the ideal mobile home community looks like? A good mobile home community involves people who are connected with the same goal of seeing the area thrive. And this means the members of the community are prepared to help each other in the event of a disaster. They’re watching out for their fellow neighbors, in both the good times and the bad.

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The community is not only in tune to the legitimate needs of their neighbor but also ready to celebrate the good achievements and victories of the community.

Helping a neighbor in need

Fred Rogers, famous for his television show “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood,” once shared how, when a little boy, he’d see scary things on the news and his mother would tell him to look for the helpers.

“You will always find people helping,” his mother said to him.

So today we’re pausing to look at a mobile home park neighbor in need. This story made it in the news, let’s see if we can identify the helpers, while learning something from the park’s story.

Meet Charity White

There’s always something to be learned from another mobile home park. We hope you’ll find some helpful takeaways from this story.

In Easton, Massachusettes, a mobile home park resident lost her home to a blazing fire. Her name is Dawbin. The home is special to her mother Charity White — it’s the home where she raised her two children. At the time of the fire, White’s daughter was living in the trailer. White had moved in with her husband Scott sometime before that. She and Scott were wed last year.

Who is Charity White

Before we continue through the story, we thought it important to share a bit more background on the hurting mobile home resident and her family.

In her mobile home park, White is known among fellow residents as a driven activist who cares deeply about her mobile home community. She’s no park manager. She’s “just” a resident who cares. The park is her home. It’s her children’s home. And it’s her neighbors’ home.

When the park residents found themselves under risk of losing their home, White knew she needed to act.

Scrabble tiles spelling out the word JUSTICE

The park’s owner made it known that the park’s existence was coming to an end. This meant 100 residents would be required to move and build their lives anew.

White worked with her fellow park residents to hire an attorney and fight back.

After a long and hard battle, the residents won. The park celebrated the success.

A fire and a community

Now flash forward to January 2019. On the first day of the year, disaster strikes the home of White’s daughter, Garnet Dawbin. Dawbin is expecting her first child this year.

She and her boyfriend were up late that night and the smoke alarm was disabled as they cooked up a late night meal. After staying up for the ball drop, the two drifted off to sleep.

That’s when the fire hit. The home was not prepared for fire. But thankfully, the two woke up in time to make their escape from the fiery flames. Unfortunately, Dawbin lost all her earthly possessions and her home. The tragedy left her feeling destitute.

Friends and family, in and outside of the community sprang into action to help with clothes and other gifts as Dawbin begins her life anew.

In contrast to the rallying support of friends and family, the park’s owner did not jump at the opportunity to help. White said the management team did not bother except with a text to confirm that all affected by the fire were alive.

Of course, this did not sit well with White and other residents of the mobile home park. White says she wishes to help get her daughter set up with a new home — in a different mobile home park, White stresses. She wants her daughter to live in a park that’s under management that cares.

Helpers take the high road

In this story of real-life mobile home heroes, Charity White and her fellow community members are the heroes. Not the mobile home park management team — sadly, they weren’t the ones jumping in to help. So what can you, as a mobile home park owner or manager learn from this management’s failings?

Helping hands in black and white

For one, while we don’t know the reasons for management’s desire to shut down the park, we can hope that park owners would do all in the power to keep people in their homes. Maybe if the park owner needs to sell, they could look into handing the reigns to an accomplished park manager. This would ensure the park stays open and operating.

Additionally, even if a park manager does not click well with a resident, that manager is still responsible to see that his or residents are cared for. It’s not about whether or not you have a legal obligation. It’s about being a leader. Quality leadership looks to the needs of others. There’s always a way to show you care.

For another story on real-life mobile home heroes, read Hansel Rodriguez’ story.

About Dan Leighton

Dan Leighton has been working in the mobile home industry for over a decade. His focus has been on sales and customer relations - making sure each person in the transaction is comfortable and fully transparent. He has a wife and one son. Dan continues to look for innovative ways to help both sellers and parks get the most bang for their buck.