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Squatters leave months after Safety Harbor man offered few weeks of help

Elizabeth Sewall, complying with a judge’s order, leaves a home where in June she had been invited to stay for a few weeks.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Elizabeth Sewall, complying with a judge’s order, leaves a home where in June she had been invited to stay for a few weeks.

SAFETY HARBOR — At 2:41 p.m. Friday, a three-vehicle convoy carried Judson Randall's squatters out of town for good, he hopes.

"The weight has lifted,'' Randall said.

On Thursday, a judge had ordered Elizabeth Sewall, 50, and Jessica Sewall, 20, to leave Randall's house by 5 p.m. Friday.

In mid June, Randall, 47, had invited the women to stay at the house for a few weeks after they fell on hard times but they refused to leave.

Friday afternoon, a woman who was helping the Sewalls move but would not identify herself said they had a place to stay for the night.

She wouldn't comment further except to say the story was blown out of proportion. The Sewalls would not speak to a reporter.

They packed a large duffel bag, a bike and other belongings into a blue compact car and a pickup truck.

The last thing they packed was a fluffy dog before traveling on.

Randall planned to immediately move from his Tampa office where he has been staying back to his house. He credited his massage therapy business for helping him remain calm during this stressful time.

"Nothing really belongs to us except our peace,'' he said. "And people can only take it away if you let them.''

Eileen Schulte can be reached at schulte@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4153.

COUNTYWIDE

Ombudsman program seeks more helpers

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, administered by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, is seeking men and women who have concerns about issues such as residents' rights, funds, food, drug regimens, abuse and neglect and who are good at negotiating and advocating.

Mileage and meal reimbursements are provided for all official ombudsman duties. Call (727) 943-4955 or toll-free at 1-888-831-0404 .

COUNTYWIDE

Be a voice in court to protect children

Pinellas County's Guardian Ad Litem program will train volunteers to act as the courtroom voice for children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect.

Guardian ad Litem volunteers visit the child once a month and make recommendations to help the child.

Thirty hours of training are required. For information, a training schedule and an application go to www.guardianad litem6.org.

COUNTYWIDE

Free seminars teach how law affects you

The Clearwater Bar Association's People's Law School is ongoing through April 23. From 7 to 9 p.m., each Thursday, a different topic is covered by volunteer judges and lawyers.

The program is designed to increase knowledge of legal concepts that may affect our everyday lives.

It is held at the Clearwater campus of St. Petersburg College, 2465 Drew St.

For information, call (727) 461-4869 or visit www.clearwaterbar.org.

COUNTYWIDE

Help to protect the elderly

If you want to become a guardian for the elderly, St. Petersburg College's Clearwater campus, 2465 Drew St., invites you to the upcoming SPC course, Professional Guardianship Training.

The four-week course begins Feb. 11.

For information and registration, call the Lifelong Learning department, (727) 341-3184.

DUNEDIN

Apply now for seat on planning board

The city of Dunedin is accepting applications to fill a vacancy on the Metropolitan Planning Organization's Citizens Advisory Committee, set up to provide comments on and review of plans, programs or possible initiatives the MPO is working on concerning transportation.

Applicants must be Dunedin residents. For information and an application, visit www.dunedingov.com.

CLEARWATER

Housing for available for seniors in need

Prospect Towers of Clearwater, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Senior Citizen Services of Clearwater, provides housing for seniors, ages 62 and older on limited income.

The facility, 801 Chestnut St., Clearwater, offers efficiencies and one-bedroom apartments. For applications and information, call Felicita Rosado, (727) 447-5701.

COUNTYWIDE

When they call 211, you can help

2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares, an agency that provides information on health and human services, is recruiting volunteers for its call center.

Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of two hours per shift. Shifts are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To receive an application, call Geri Costello, community relations manager, at (727) 210-4209 or e-mail geri@211tampabay.org.

COUNTYWIDE

Pinellas Hope is in need of volunteers

Pinellas Hope Tent City needs volunteers daily 7-11 a.m., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 3-8 p.m. Monday through Friday to work outside helping people, answer phones and help keep a good flow in group surroundings. To provide meals call (727) 556-6397. To volunteer, e-mail slopez@ccdosp.org or come to 5726 126th Ave. N for a volunteer application.

Squatters leave months after Safety Harbor man offered few weeks of help 01/30/09 [Last modified: Friday, January 30, 2009 10:04pm]
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