Wal-Mart often says its corporate culture is based upon respect for the individual. Just ask the 130 families who live in a mobile home park in Harrisonburg, VA. Sprawl-busters report that the mobile homeowners, most of whom are hispanic, are the latest target of Wal-Mart. The company wants to build a Sam’s Club, and the “club” is being used to beat in opposition to the plan. Most of the homes in the park are owned by the residents, who pay rent on the land. Many of the homes are old and may never survive if they have to be relocated. Moving these homes could cost as much as $6,000 or more. For most of the residents, many of whom work in the local poultry plant, this moving expense would be prohibitive. As many as 60 children of elementary school age live in the park, and another 30 are in the middle or high school. Area residents and advocacy groups at a minimum are trying to get Wal-Mart to pay for the relocation expenses, or to build a replacement park to allow the kids to remain in their current schools. Several years ago, a group of senior citizens in Santa Rosa, CA organized to stop Home Depot from buying their mobile home park, the Journey’s End. They were successful, and the journey ended for Home Depot. But Wal-Mart, with its respect for the individual, seems to have no respect for the fact that the land they want for their redundant store (there are 450 Sam’s Clubs in the U.S. already) happens to be the home for 130 mostly low-income families. There is no need to disrupt the lives of these families just to provide the public with another place to buy cheap underwear.
To offer your financial support to the residents who are fighting this Wal-Mart fiasco, or to learn more about the mobile home park fight, conact Ms. Dale Diaz by email at: [email protected]