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Posted at 11:44 AM ET, 09/22/2010

Blocks of belongings after eviction

By Washington Post Editors

On the four corners of 11th and Otis Place were the contents of Eloisa Diaz's home Wednesday morning: Piles upon piles of household furniture tossed together so that ironing boards sat against vacuum cleaners which sat against empty frames.

Diaz, an out of work housekeeper who worked in Virginia and the District, said she was unable to pay the rent and Tuesday morning watched as her landlord and a crew of men tossed everything she and her roommate owned on the streets.

"I couldn't pay to stay longer," she said watching over the piles, making sure none of the passersby took anything. "It's hard."

Sterling-based company J K Moving and Storage offered to help remove and store the items for free. Early in the day move manager Jason Pulsifier said it was going to be at least a three truck job, which is needed when moving a large seven- or eight-bedroom home. Diaz said she collected so much stuff with the intent of sending it to relatives in Venezuela, Columbia and Mexico.

"It's my desire to send everything to them to help people," she said. "They are very poor over there."

Diaz's roomate Mosart Nkwemi said he didn't know she was behind on the rent until he came home and saw his belongings outside.

"When she told me yesterday morning," he said, "I thought it was the beginning (of the eviction process) not the end."

By late afternoon the moving company had hauled away more than 30,000 pounds of her goods. But they said they wouldn't be able to remove it all.

-- Theresa Vargas

eviction1.jpg
Eloisa Diaz with her belongings. (Susan Biddle/Post)

eviction2.jpg
Eloisa Diaz discusses her eviction. (Susan Biddle/Post)

eviction3.jpg
Movers box up Diaz's belongings. (Susan Biddle/Post)

11:44 a.m.
Photos: Blocks of belongings after eviction

A woman's belongings lined several blocks of sidewalks surrounding her home in Columbia Heights Wednesday morning after she was evicted.

Eloisa Diaz told NBC 4 she was removed because she could no longer afford to pay rent on her home near 11th Street and Otis Place in Northwest. JK Moving and Storage volunteered to pack and store her stuff after seeing her plight on the morning news.

Stay with Postlocal.com for more news.

By Washington Post Editors  | September 22, 2010; 11:44 AM ET
Categories:  DC  
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Comments

I do have sympathy for her because no one would willingly go through eviction and possibly being homeless. But, it isn't as though it's a surprise.
She knew she wasn't paying her rent. So why not get a storage unit to put some of her things in until she found another place?

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | September 22, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

BigDaddy651,
I'm thinking, if she cannot pay her rent, she may not be able to afford a storage unit, boxes or movers.

It's a shame that her stuff was spread out over several blocks. Once they saw how much stuff she had, they should have out something with her. How embarrassing!

Posted by: andreab82 | September 22, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The point I was making is because she wasn't paying the rent on her home she should have money for a storage unit(they're under $50 a month most places).
But it is sad...not only is it embarrassing but she doesn't look young. So you wonder what/if any family can help her?

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | September 22, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Looming eviction can be painful and paralyzing. It can often times take months to pack up a house someone has lived in for years. Packing supplies, movers and storage can be upwards of $2000 for someone with a great deal of stuff. The biggest shame is that this woman did not feel like there was a service that she could reach out to prevent her stuff from being strewn about as it was trash and not the earnings of an obviously difficult life.

Posted by: ljespo3z | September 22, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

WOW...This is very sad but how big was the house anyway? That was alot of stuff for it to take up anywhere from 3 to 4 blocks.

Also wondering if she had a hoarding problem because that was really to much stuff to maintain.

May be someone should have come along and helped her to sale some of the items to make a little cash that maybe would have helped her make it for at least awhile.

Posted by: msruby36 | September 22, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

They said on the news that she lost her job as a caretaker for elderly people when their family put them into a nursing home. She is from El Salvador I think they said. So she had no family here. She was working to send money and things back home to them. I always wondered why people stay in their homes/apartments until the actual eviction day. They give you prior notice but I guess there are some folks who have no where else to pack up and go to. This lady slept on the street with her belongings last night because she literally had no where else to go. And if she could not afford to pay rent more than likely she couldn't afford storage for her things either. I hate to see peoples stuff sitting on the street that really bothers me. But in this case some do gooders stepped in to help her.

Posted by: enewton | September 22, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

@msruby36 she said that she used to collect stuff to send back home to her family. I agree it was an awful lot. Most people won't admit they hoard even on that show hoarders. But it is easy to get carried away I guess. In her case maybe selling some of that stuff a garage sell could have netted her some funds. I don't know I have never been in that position but I couldn't stay and be put out on the street with all my belongings I would pack up and leave. Or just leave the things I didn't need behind.

Posted by: enewton | September 22, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

ColUmbia....?...as in Columbia, Maryland?

or ColOmbia, the country in South America?

Posted by: OldSalt8 | September 22, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

She stopped paying rent in 2009 and failed tto live up to the stipulations of the settlement agreement.

https://www.dccourts.gov/pa/
2009 LTB 014864 BEASLEY, JOANNE VS. DIAZ, ELOISA

I'm sorry, but I cannot feel sorry for a person who lived rent free for nearly 18 months. It's a sad situation, but there's more to this story than she's telling.

Posted by: BLKManCommonSense | September 22, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I bet the landlord still has to pay the mortgage regardless of a tenant's ability or willingness to pay their rent.

Posted by: 10bestfan | September 22, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

WOW...how big was her home? I mean stuff that took up space on 3 to 4 blocks is just unbelieveable.

Looked like a scene from Hoarders. Someone should have come along and talked her into maybe selling a few of those items at least to make some money to live on. But thinking that more than likely most of the items probably weren't sale worthy anyway.

Really sad.

Posted by: msruby36 | September 22, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

WOW...how big was her home? I mean stuff that took up space on 3 to 4 blocks is just unbelieveable.

Looked like a scene from Hoarders. Someone should have come along and talked her into maybe selling a few of those items at least to make some money to live on. But thinking that more than likely most of the items probably weren't sale worthy anyway.

Really sad.

Posted by: msruby36 | September 22, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I feel sorry for her, but one word, HOARDER!

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | September 22, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Diaz lost many of her cleaning jobs with the downturn in the economy.She has been industrious- to say the least- she never allows anything to be put in the trash. In fact, when she cleans, she keeps everything and often "stores" it where she is cleaning...this can cause problems with the owners of the houses. Also, many people give her all kinds of things.She sells at flea markets and sends things home to her children. She has an unusual story of survival in this city. Someone should help her write a book of her adventures including survival techniques.

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | September 22, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't consider her a Hoarder...she makes a living of selling free stuff at flea markets and to her friends and then she sends "stuff" to Venezuela for her children and relatives to sell there.What we consider throw away here is in Venezuela good, usable stuff. Good for her! But, there would be no place big enough for her collections and with no steady job...no way to pay rent. She has a good heart and knows right from wrong. I wish her well. She has many admirers here, but paying her back rent, etc. was too much for most friends.

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | September 22, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

In that neighborhood the rent prices have rocketed sky high due to the increase property value. She was probably renting for years and no longer could afford the increases. Those upper NW neighborhoods have gone up in property value soo much that even elderly people who paid for their homes years ago still face eviction because on their fixed incomes they cant afford the taxes. Call it the collateral damage of gentrification. The cost of the newly renovated upgraded homes being sold in those areas have driven the older renters and even owners out of their homes.

Posted by: ged0386 | September 22, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

'm sorry, but I cannot feel sorry for a person who lived rent free for nearly 18 months. It's a sad situation, but there's more to this story than she's telling.

Posted by: BLKManCommonSense |

People lose jobs and their homes all the time. Where have you been? Just because it has not happen to you does not mean it cant. Where would she go with no job? I mean she is a care taker who looks to be about 60 years old. I know you are probably some young professional who feels like its her fault for not getting a masters degree and starting her own company long ago so she would not have to rely on a caretakers job to keep a roof over your head. But would if you have a stroke and become paralyzed or get into a car accident and cant work? You cant feel sorry for her because you dont want to feel sorry for her. Why? because feeling sorry may lead to feeling guilty and none of us like to feel guilty about our lives being good while others suffer. So what do we do? We rationalize a way not to feel anything so we can go on with our lives and sleep good at night knowing others cant. Thats why we are quick to demonize poor people.

Posted by: ged0386 | September 22, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

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