Thelma Smith has lived in her home in Ladera Heights for nearly three decades.
Recently she got an eviction notice. Her landlords want to have the unit back to move in their daughter, who is graduating from law school. She was given a notice to vacate by June 30.
But the story of her plight, first reported in the Los Angeles Times, is drawing sympathy and promises for assistance.
A fruit basket from @Schwarzenegger & a promise to help his 102 year old friend Thelma Smith. She’s being evicted from home of nearly 30 years in unincorporated #LaderaHeights so landlord’s daughter can move in. @ABC7 11pm #abc7eyewitness pic.twitter.com/CUxm80I8n9— Eileen Frere (@abc7eileen) May 25, 2019
The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs say it is investigating the eviction notice to see if it complies with the county's interim Rent Stabilization Ordinance.
County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said he is also looking into the situation.
"The last thing our centenarians should be concerned about is a place to call home," Ridley Thomas said. "My objective is to bring all the resources the county has to bear to deliver a prompt and dignified resolution to this matter."
Smith worked many years for the nonprofit Sugar Ray Robinson Foundation.
Schwarzenegger said he has known Smith for many years. He recently sent her a fruit basket and is offering his assistance.
The former governor tweeted: "Thelma has been a dear friend for a long time. Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless. Thelma, I'll be reaching out to help. Landlords, you'll hear from me too."
Thelma has been a dear friend for a long time. Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless. Thelma, I’ll be reaching out to help. Landlords, you’ll hear from me too. https://t.co/IJQrclGQ6I— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) May 24, 2019