HOLLISTER, Mo. – Residents of Yacht Club Mobile Home Park were told in August of 2022 they had until the end of the year to pick up and move as investors looked to make changes to the property. Five months later, many of those residents are living somewhere else.

“There would be somewhere around 100 people at the beginning of all of this,” Hollister City Administrator Rick Ziegenfuss said. “Right now there are two remaining, and they are just awaiting transport of their home so that they can be relocated.”

Developers worked with local non-profits like House of Hope to help find families new homes.

“If I’m being really transparent, the process wasn’t always easy,” House of Hope Service Director Alex Sprinkle said. “It was a lot of tears, a lot of heavy days leaving, just knowing that there’s a lot of people in crisis and a lot of people may be desperate for something more.”

Sprinkle said House of Hope spent time talking with over 60 families to see what their future plans were.

“For some, it look liked I want to reunite with my family,” Sprinkle said. “They’ve been able to do that. For others, they needed additional services, maybe a nursing home setting. So we’re in the process of helping people do that.”

Although some mobile homes were left behind, others made the decision to take them with.

“There was a number of people that owned their mobile homes here and then some other people made arrangements at a very modest cost to purchase their homes from here,” Ziegenfuss said. “There are some that it’s unreasonable because of their condition they no longer can be moved.”

Once the last two tenants are able to move out, the city and developers can start the real work.

“The first thing that’ll be done is water will be shut off,” Ziegenfuss said. “We’re aware right now there’s water running everywhere leaking now. They’ve done a great job of of patching the ones that can be found. We want to make sure that we can stabilize all that because when you may when you remove this many water connections and sewer connections, you want to get those out of service as quickly as possible.”

The city is excited to see a fresh start for Yacht Club and for former residents.

“There’s nobody that came from here that’s in the kind of conditions they were in here,” Ziegenfuss said. “Many of them have come back and said that they had no idea they could be better off.”

House of Hope will continue to check with former tenants as they settle into their new homes.

“Looking among all of the demolition that’s happening, I can’t help but feel a lot of happy and hope for the people that have transitioned out into their new homes,” Sprinkle said. “I’m confident that the relationships we built here aren’t going to end at the end of Yacht Club.”

The city said developers are currently working on getting permits for long-term projects.