89-year-old Angie Tyma from Houston, Florida was evicted from her home and was living in at a Days Inn hotel, pondering what her next decision would be. The unexpected 3-week reprieve from the home she was renting was the result of the owner, whom she herself had sold the house to a few years ago, having stopped paying the mortgage.
They took her home.
Tyma had been a widow for 20 years and it had been that long since she had anyone helping to pay the monthly mortgage. That’s why she eventually sold the home and rented rather than owned the property. When foreclosure proceedings began, she didn’t know what to do, but she never expected that she would be evicted from her long-time home. That is, however, exactly what happened.
This was not just a place to live for Tyma. It was her home of 35 years. “They threw me out,” Tyma told Today in an interview. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Tyma never dreamed she would be evicted from her home, and at her advanced aged it was a surreal experience. “I went through hell and back,” she said.
The neighbors were shocked.
Neighbors who knew Tyma couldn’t believe it either. When they saw her belongings being hauled out of her house, they were stunned. That’s when they interceded to help Tyma get her home back.
An Act Of Neighborly Kindness
One of those neighbors, Danielle Calder, went to the auction her house was being sold at by the company who had purchased it after it foreclosed. Calder bought Tyma’s house back for $167,500.
“Quite honestly, I didn’t need another house,” Calder, 65, told Today. “But I needed her. I couldn’t see her living in a motel room… she’s been here so long. Everyone looks out for her.”
A Neighborhood Icon
Yes, everyone in her neighborhood not only looked out for her, but they also saw the value in her presence. Calder, who is now Tyma’s new landlord, described Tyma as the fabric of the neighborhood and someone who everybody knew.
“She has two little dogs that she walks,” explained Calder. “She’s an elderly woman, but she’s pretty feisty, and she has lots of energy.”
But she’s back. Tyma happily returned to her home on her 89th birthday, which she describes as “the best birthday present I have ever received.”
Her return was more than a celebration of her 89 years. It was a neighborhood event that even drew the attention of the local media. The entire neighborhood showed up to welcome Tyma back to her home.
“Usually one of my neighbors bakes me a cake every year, but this time, when I got out of the car and saw all these people, and the media… I was in a state of shock,” she said. “I was speechless. I couldn’t even talk.”
Tyma didn’t have to say anything. It was the actions of her neighbors who cared about her who created the speechless moment through their kind action.
Later in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, an excited Tyma said, “I never expected I would make the front page!”
Her gratitude for Calder is immense, but Calder downplayed her generosity. “It was the right thing to do,” she said. “We’re family—the whole neighborhood.”