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Arnold Schwarzenegger has stepped in to help a 102-year-old woman who's facing eviction from her home of almost three decades.
The actor tweeted an article about 'dear friend' Thelma Smith, writing: "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
Smith was told in March she must vacate her home in Los Angeles, with her landlords wanting to end her month-to-month lease as their daughter is graduating.
"The dwelling is needed as her principal place of residence," the notice said, according to the LA Times.
The landlords apparently gave Smith three months to get out, meaning she must vacate by the end of June.
"The only thing I can say is that I've tried to live a good life," Smith told CBS Los Angeles earlier this week.
"I never wanted to harm anybody."
Speaking to one of Smith's landlords, CBS LA asked if they could 'legally' make a 102-year-old woman leave.
"Would you take care of your child?" the landlord replied.
Family friend Antonio Avelino told CBS LA that Smith was bothered most by the 'unknown' involved in being relocated to new places.
"She couldn't afford it, she would need some assistance from [the] county and other friends to support her in these places," Avelino added.
According to the LA Times, a landlord can legally evict a tenant to accommodate a relative's housing needs under Los Angeles' Rent Stabilisation Ordinance.
However, the city law states that if the landlord's units are of comparable housing, the last person who moved in would be the first person forced to leave - something that's intended to protect low-paying tenants from being targeted.
A GoFundMe page has now been set up in her name, having currently raised more than $4,336 of the $20,000 goal required for 'relocation, possible housing and care'.
"Thelma Smith is a 102 year-old widow who is being evicted from her apartment in Los Angeles at the end of June 2019," the GoFundMe page explains.
"She served as a former executive secretary for the Sugar Ray Youth Foundation, which seeks to build self esteem for underprivileged youth and prevent juvenile delinquency, for over twenty years.
"Thelma is currently facing homelessness and is in need of funds for relocation, possible housing and care.
"Thelma is a strong and ever resilient woman who has done much for her community [and she] now seeks financial help.
"Family and friends, we greatly appreciate any amount to support Thelma!"
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