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Out of time

HANAPEPE — Patrick Wayne Rita of Hanapepe must vacate his home of 10 years by today.

The 62-year-old retiree, however, is plagued by numerous ailments, low income and is on his own.

On top of that, he doesn’t know where to turn.

“It’s not that I don’t want to move,” he said. “I have no place to go and trying to take out the things in this place on my own, the help I needed did not materialize.”

Rita signed an agreement two months ago with his landlord, Flowers West, which states he had 60 days to vacate his home. Rita said in hindsight, it was a mistake signing.

A new lease holder took over the land and has different plans for the property.

“I was under the impression that they was going toss me out if I wasn’t going to sign it,” he said. “They said I wasn’t doing a thing at all getting things out, which I was struggling to do.”

Takako Ishikawa, Flowers West manager, was on the property Monday but declined to comment.

A document by Flowers West attorney Sherman Shiraishi states if Rita fails to move out by today, “the law allows Flowers West the right to collect double rent for each day you remain in the premises after June 30, 2015.”

“I can’t afford that,” he said.

Rita pays $400 per month for rent and receives a monthly Social Security check of roughly $1,500.

Rita said as far as living with family, he has no options.

“I have a few nieces and nephews — not no place for me,” he said. “My daughter’s in Iowa, married. I’d never be able to make the trip. My son’s in the Mainland: I don’t know where he is or what he’s doing; I don’t even know if he’s alive or dead.”

Rita said he’s turned to low-income housing and senior centers, who couldn’t be reached for comment late Monday, but can’t afford to pay the premiums.

“Even with low income and senior centers, which I qualify, they want roughly $700,” he said. “I can’t afford that. Not right now.”

Rita said during the two months he attempted to move his belongings, he received help from his sister, her husband and two others but had little success because of their age and disabilities.

“I had an elderly lady come in; she’s elderly and she has disability, too,” he said. “That was the only help I ever got.”

Rita said he suffers from several ailments, including sleep apnea, congestive heart failure, gout, water retention, high blood pressure and two infused disks in his back.

“The way I look at everything, it’s like I’m being tossed out on my ear to die,” he said. “They don’t care. Where’s the heart? Where’s the aloha? Where’s the compassion? Where’s the Hawaii I grew up in?”

Rita turns 63 in August.

The former enforcement officer said all he’s asking for is a little time to find a place to stay.

“I’m not asking for the world,” he said.

Rita, a widow, said he’s glad his wife isn’t going through his current dilemma.

“I sat down and I miss her so much,” he said. “I felt one way it was good: She’s not suffering going through this — I am.”


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