“What happened to our client, Diana Martin, was wrong on many levels.”
“No one should be evicted based on their religious expression, but especially not an elderly great-grandmother.”
But that’s exactly what happened to an 85-year-old widow in Hanford, California.
Imagine having lived in the same place for over a decade and suddenly being told that you had to leave.
Now imagine being 85-years-old, alone, and having nowhere to go.
Sadly, that was the experience of 85-year-old widow Diana Martin when she was told that she was being evicted from the apartment that she had been living in for almost 14 years.
Understandably, she was devastated.
And what do you think the reason given to her was for her eviction?
Well the owner of the building, and vice-mayor of the town, John Draxler, told her that because she was sharing her Faith and offering to pray for people, this was the reason she was being evicted.
Draxler later told her that it was also because of her age. It sounds like he didn’t want someone her age cramping the style of his younger-suited apartments.
Apparently, Draxler also told her that she had been “combative” with management when she had fought to keep her parking space. But this 85-year-old widow had been reassigned a parking space further away from her door and close to the dumpster.
She worried for her safety, as it seems that there was often a homeless man there and she did not want to have a confrontation with him.
She did not think that she could defend herself if things were to go awry. And why would they want to force someone her age to walk farther than she had to?
Well, Martin thinks this was an attempt to push her out.
It looks like, when they didn’t get their way, they just decided to come out and force her to leave.
But if that doesn’t seem cold to you, it was reported “when [Martin] started to cry, protesting that it was winter and she had no children living nearby, Draxler reportedly told her that was not his problem.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but I firmly believe in showing respect to our elders, something that John Draxler didn’t seem to do when he wanted to get his way. Not only did he show Diana Martin no respect, but he showed her no compassion.
He even brought her to tears and did not seem to care for her situation.
A discrimination charge has been filed against the owners by the Pacific Justice Institute. The PJI is a legal defense organization that fights for the religious freedom of their clients. They also discovered that Martin was not given a proper eviction.
Diana Martin was not allowed the legal time for an eviction and instead was forced out before she had received the amount of time she should have received to find another place to live. She has moved out of that apartment building and is now living elsewhere.
It looks like they have a pretty strong case against John Draxler and that they will be able to bring some justice for Martin. The PJI also hopes the state will take remedial action and prevent this from happening to anyone else.
Please help us pray for our brothers and sisters everywhere who are being persecuted and discriminated against because of their Faith in Jesus Christ. It is a tragedy to see stories like this and we must pray that these situations cease to be.
Let us also pray for the elderly, without whose guidance many of us would not have made it as far as we have today.
Our elderly are so precious and a gift from God and should be treated as such. They have much to teach us and we still have much to learn from them.