LIMA — Eighty-five-year-old Naomi Clark was about to be booted out in the cold from the house she’s lived in for 36 years when her neighbors delivered a Christmas miracle this week.
“They came here two weeks ago and told me about a plan if they would buy the house, I could stay here,” Clark said wiping away tears. “I told them, naturally, I would love to stay here.”
The four who bought the house, Jim and Sue Lutz, and Julie and Farzin Fotouhi, were at a Sheriff’s auction Wednesday to purchase the home for $21,000 to make sure Clark could live in the home she had since 1974 when she married George Clark, who died in 2001.
The neighbors somehow became aware the house was to be sold at a sheriff’s auction and approached Clark to help, she said.
Clark, who lives on Social Security and a small retirement from the insurance company from which she retired, is going to pay the four a minimal amount for rent and hopes to find a way to pay them for the house, she said.
Clark said she could think of no other place to live. Besides putting her touches on the home, she has put thousands of dollars into the home for repairs and renovations, she said.
Besides that, Clark still maintains the home and yard herself.
“I still mow my own grass,” she said.
Clark said she doesn’t know how things would have turned out had she been forced out. She said she was preparing for the worst before her neighbors rescued her.
Clark said the Lutzes, and their daughter, Julie Fotouhi, have always been good neighbors. Now she knows how good of neighbors they’ve really been.
“I’ve been blessed that I have friends and neighbors who like me, who bought it so I could stay here,” Clark said. “I think a lot of them. I always have and I really appreciate what they are doing. It means a lot to me.”