All across America, cities, and small towns implement laws regarding nuisance properties. What many of these municipalities fail to do, however, is assist those who are in need of help in bringing their properties up to specification.
Joyce Albright of Omaha, Nebraska is one of those in need of assistance. An elderly widow and the mother of a mentally-challenged daughter, Joyce lives on a modest income. Her lawnmower broke down, and she found she was unable to purchase a new one. When the grass began to grow, and the weeds began to overtake the yard, Joyce resorted to using a pocket knife for her lawn care needs.
“The gas line in the mower broke or something,” she explained. “It was squirting gas everywhere, and I was afraid to continue using it.”
The city of Omaha issues citations to residents whose properties have become overgrown and unsightly. Joyce was one of approximately 7,000 people who received a notification about her property as well as a $35 fine.
When members of the community learned about Joyce’s hardship, they moved swiftly into action. Members of the community banded together and rallied around Joyce. When some of them appeared to offer their assistance, they found that Klean Sweep’s B.J. Tucker had beaten them to the draw. He arrived early at the Albright home to mow the grass and trim back the weeds.
Joyce was grateful when she received mail from the city of Omaha. The envelope contained the $35 she submitted to cover the cost of her fine. The city, which offers leniency to those experiencing hardship, had not been aware of Joyce’s predicament at the time the fine was issued.
“I’m grateful it was returned,” Joyce said. “I put it back in the bank to cover other bills that I had been unable to pay this month.”