An area therapy barn for children with disabilities has earned a reprieve from eviction after a property dispute with their landlord.
Ready Set Ride has been helping those with disabilities at their barn in Plainfield for nearly 15 years, something they can now continue to do for the foreseeable future.
“The judge was able to look more fully into our entire situation so he overturned the ruling of our eviction, so we are here to stay,” said Cathy Kerwin, a board member and volunteer with Ready Set Ride.
That eviction notice came in early July, when their landlord claimed they were negligent in paying rent, a point they refute.
“The property went into foreclosure, so we were advised not to pay rent,” said Kerwin. “We were very blindsided, we had no prior knowledge that there were any problems with the property financially at all.”
On July 13, just four days before they were to vacate, a judge threw out the eviction.
“I was very happy, yes we were celebrating,” said Board Vice President Lesley Caramusa regarding the ruling. “It’s a small victory, there’s still long term, we still need to find someone to purchase the property for us, or we need to raise a lot of funds to purchase the property ourselves.”
The land, which is currently held by Nationstar Mortgage Company because of the foreclosure, has an estimated value of around $400,000.
When word got out about the potential eviction, the community responded in a big way. Over 75,000 people signed an online petition to “Save Ready Set Ride” and over $21,000 has been raised on a GoFundMe page.
Individual community members have also come out to lend their support.
“I earned money over the weekend and when I saw the segment on the news I thought ‘I don’t really care about getting a new thing to play with,’ I actually care about the horses here and I donated $47 to Ready Set Ride,” said Madison R., a ten-year-old girl who lives near the Ready Set Ride barn.
All of this money will go toward legal fees, property needs and their ultimate goal of being able to buy the property themselves.
This 501(c)3 has been doing equine therapy with children with disabilities since 2001.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
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