When the tree fell on the home of Delores Peckinpaugh in the early morning hours of Sept. 1, safety was the main concern. But now, two weeks later, the 79-year-old woman is desperately searching for a home for herself, her 8-year-old great-granddaughter who she is raising and her adult special-needs son and his dogs who are part of her household. The home has been condemned and in the meantime, she and her great-granddaughter, Destiny, are living with her other son while all their belongings and her other son and the dogs remain in the home. However, they do need to remove all the belongings and animals as soon as possible. They have searched for a low-cost rental property, but with the situation at Conestoga, those homes are pretty difficult to come by at the moment. Every spare rental property is being taken by the residents who are having to relocate from the mobile home park.
“She has nowhere to go. She has no money to put her stuff in storage. She has nowhere to take the dogs and Timmy is staying on the property caring for them,” said her son Brian Peckinpaugh. “Her number one priority right now is finding a house. However when she calls they want large deposits and there are usually other people ready and waiting with money in hand. She also needs to find a property that will accept dogs and Section 8. You may not know but the rental economy is very tight. Inventory is low. Furthermore, there is a mobile home park in Monroe where at least 50 to 60 families are going to have to find new places to live. The inventory is getting even less. We need to try to find her home quickly. My mom is 79 years old and Timmy has special needs. This is taking a toll on both of them. They really need to find a place to live where they can be comfortable and safe again. Again at this point, we’re looking for a two or three-bedroom house. If you have information or lead please contact me. If anyone wants to help financially, they can contact me and I will send them my cash app or zelle information. I deleted the GoFundMe because it was not productive and most people do not like GoFundMe campaigns because they take so much money and fees.”
Delores Peckinpaugh was woken up a little before 2 a.m. this morning by her adult son, Timothy. He had been asleep in his room when a large tree from the neighbor’s house came through the roof of the home they are living in at 1208 South Broad St. in Monroe.
“Timothy was the first to awaken because a large branch came through the ceiling and hit his bed. It missed impaling him by inches,” said her other son, Brian Peckinpaugh. “Tim was trapped in his room. He was able to squeeze out and wake my mother.”
Peckinpaugh said his mother, who is 79, lives in the house with Timothy, her adult autistic son, and her 8-year-old great-granddaughter, Destiny, who she is raising.
“Thankfully, no one or her personal property was damaged. However, the house is uninhabitable. Currently, they will stay in my living room,” he said, adding that at the moment she cannot access her vehicles as they are buried under the debris. “Not damaged, just cannot get out.”
Captain Andrew Dykes with the City of Monroe Fire Department confirmed that emergency personnel responded to the home at about 1:43 a.m. on Sept. 1, 2019. He said that, according to the report, it appeared to be a large tree that came down on the home. Photographs that Peckinpaugh had taken confirmed that there is significant damage to the home.
“She does not have renter’s insurance due to her fixed income,” her son said, adding that they are looking at raising money for moving to a new place. “She’ll need money for a deposit, moving expenses and other expenses while finding a new place.”
Peckinpaugh said she was given a gift card by the Red Cross to help with expenses but he has set up a GoFundMe Account to help cover the expenses she will incur.
“She has lived in this home for 15 years, Peckinpaugh said. “Although fixing or rebuilding the home is not her responsibility, moving forward is.”
Once she is able to access her belongings from the home, Dolores Peckinpaugh is going to have to move her family to a new home.