Driven From Home And A Debt-Free Retirement

Jun 3, 2016

Lupe Turner lived in the Mission Trails Mobile Home Park for 12 years when talks for rezoning the property into a high-end apartment complex started in early 2014.

“I don’t even remember when the sign was put out. It was a yellow or orange sign. I thought it was like somebody was having a yard sale or something, until I think my daughter brought it to my attention, ‘You know there’s a sign out there that said something about rezoning.’ And I thought ‘What does that mean?’ I didn’t even know what that meant.”

Lupe Turner
Credit StoryCorps

The City of San Antonio had approved the plans in a controversial $75 million dollar development deal that led to the displacement of nearly 300 residents. As a woman newly retired and debt-free, this drastically changed Lupe Turner’s plans for her future.

“Everything was paid, I was going to enjoy my retirement. Well it turns out that I had this brick wall – which was all the changes that were going to take place at Mission Trails.”

Her life was completely uprooted in the process of being relocated to a different mobile home park on San Antonio’s East Side. Among the hardships of being forced to move, Lupe found herself back in debt, with not much to be done for her situation.

“I think the worst part was the City Council people asking us to put our hearts out and say, ‘This is how we feel,’ but not really acknowledging what we were gonna go through."

She says the real concern was for the tourists that the new developments were supposed to attract, and not on the people who had been living in the area for years.

Lupe Turner has been actively involved with Vecinos de Mission Trails, an organization that gives voice to the displaced residents.

“I certainly want to be a part of to help others, that hopefully they can get… they don’t have such a hard time like we did.”

She was interviewed by Jessica Guerrero at the StoryCorps Mobile Booth on February 20, 2016.

StoryCorps is made possible by ESD Digital Marketing, and also made possible by CodeUp and Monterrey Iron & Metal.