102-year-old woman facing eviction in Ladera Heights gets offer of help from Schwarzenegger

Saturday, May 25, 2019
LADERA HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A 102-year-old woman is being evicted from her home of nearly 30 years - but friends like former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and local officials are vowing to see how they can help her.

Thelma Smith has lived in her home in Ladera Heights for nearly three decades.

Recently she got an eviction notice. Her landlords want to have the unit back to move in their daughter, who is graduating from law school. She was given a notice to vacate by June 30.

But the story of her plight, first reported in the Los Angeles Times, is drawing sympathy and promises for assistance.

The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs say it is investigating the eviction notice to see if it complies with the county's interim Rent Stabilization Ordinance.

And county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said he is also looking into the situation.

"The last thing our centenarians should be concerned about is a place to call home," Ridley Thomas said. "My objective is to bring all the resources the County has to bear to deliver a prompt and dignified resolution to this matter."

Smith worked many years for the nonprofit Sugar Ray Robinson Foundation.

Schwarzenegger said he has known Smith for many years. He recently sent her a fruit basket and is offering his assistance.

The former governor tweeted: "Thelma has been a dear friend for a long time. Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless. Thelma, I'll be reaching out to help. Landlords, you'll hear from me too.

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