Brenda and Gord Gartley always pictured retirement in their single-family Maple Ridge home that they had lived in for a decade.
But on Thanksgiving Day, they found themselves living out of a tent in Golden Ears Provincial Park instead of their Rogers Avenue home.
The Gartleys had been evicted after they were accused of breaching a rent-to-own agreement with a Surrey realtor and his partner.
The couple started falling behind with their mortgage payments when Brenda had to take on the financial care of her disabled brother.
When the bank started foreclosing on their home, they entered into the rent-to-own agreement.
In the agreement, the Gartleys would become tenants, which would give them more time to raise $400,000 to purchase back the house.
Neighbours of the couple have rallied together to try and help them keep their house.
Bruce MacDonald and his wife Trish Tait live directly across from where the elderly couple lived and have known them since they moved in.
They are storing some of the couple’s belongings while the Gartley’s figure out what they are going to do next.
“They just needed a little bit of financial help,” said MacDonald. Now he watches as people comb through their house, throwing furniture into an open bin on the front lawn.
“We all offered them a trailer up in the park. You know, come stay at our house, come stay at this person’s house. But they’ve got pride,” continued MacDonald who is furious about the Gartley’s situation.
“They are so used to helping people that they can’t accept help. When (it’s) time for them to ask for help, they won’t,” MacDonald added.
Tait has started a GoFundMe page to help with the legal fees of getting the house back. As of Monday afternoon, $2,697 of a goal of $10,000 had been raised by 58 people.
To donate go to gofundme.com/legal-fees-for-the-gartleys.
• More to follow.