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Volunteers help mobile home park water woes

Published: Oct. 31, 2020 at 6:42 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -Time to break out the winter gear as folks gather at Chugiak’s Forest Park Trailer Park.

This is not about fun, but survival.

Volunteers fill containers with fresh water. It’s for the people who live in the trailer park and do not have any.

“This is a blessing that we are getting water,” said Alonzo Lang, one of the tenants.

This is just the water-related issue at Forest Park, which has been under a boil notice since 2018. Flooding last winter caused all kinds of problems. The courts ordered the owners this month to provide water, but that still hasn’t happened.

“I have actually lived in places without water,” said Robb Clodfeltel, one of the volunteers. “I understand how important it is to have fresh drinking water.”

Folks who live here have to get their own water every day, and rely on donations.

“Water is basic, it’s essential,” said the Salvation Army’s Jenni Ragland, who helped organize the water drive. “To not have access to water is just unacceptable.”

The city of Anchorage has provided a 3,000-gallon tank that can be filled to help supply water. A representative from the state said plans are in the works to help move the tenants out of the trailer park and move them into affordable housing.

Until then, it’s up to the tenants, and volunteers to come up with a permanent solution.

“By and large, this is an affluent community,” said Pastor Stuart Poteet of the Alliance Christian Fellowship. “To have these people right here struggling so much just to have water to drink, to wash dishes, to shower, the basic necessities, things we take for granted.”

Poteet and other volunteers wait their turn to fill the barrels. As soon as they fill one, there’s another that needs water.

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