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97-year-old ukulele player evicted from retirement home


Ninety-seven-year-old Jim Farrell likes to sing and play his ukulele. He says he's a veteran of three wars. But most recently he’s found himself homeless.

He had been living independently at the Redwood Retirement Residence in Napa, until 11 days ago, when he was ordered to leave.

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He says he was told he wasn't keeping his room clean enough.  So when the residence charged him a $1,500 cleaning bill, Farrell says he couldn't afford the next month's rent. He had to go.

"Absolutely devastating. Devastating. Horrible," said Farrell.

KTVU received a statement from Holiday Retirement, the parent company of the retirement residence where Farrell was asked to leave.

The statement says the facility notified Farrell in February that his apartment was posing a health hazard, adding that Farrell's behavior had become aggressive.

Since leaving the Redwood Retirement Residence, Farrell had been staying in motels, but then his money ran out.  He was then forced to move into a homeless shelter.

"At this point in time I am afraid. I'm afraid I am not coming out of here alive. I said that," said Farrell.

"Watching him walk into an environment that no older person should ever have to be in. That was wrenching my heart," said Carol Eldridge, a senior citizen placement coordinator who's been helping Farrell.

But now things are looking up for Farrell. On Friday, he moved into an assisted living facility.

A stranger in Napa heard about Farrell's plight and donated enough money to cover a room in an assisted living home for the rest of the month. Then Farrell's veteran’s benefits will take over from there.

"Wonderful people are helping me. Beautiful people. Beautiful women," said Farrell.



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