ENGLEWOOD

Mobile Gardens in Englewood was hit hard by Hurricane Jan.

Most of the 240 mobile homes are destroyed or have significant damage.

For some, it’s enough to think they’ll never be able to recover, and maybe it’s time to move on.

But now the community is rallying around each other, keeping everyone fed, clean and full of hope.

Brad Robson, a resident of the area, decided to stay during the hurricane. He and his wife took shelter in a room in their home, but things went wrong when a piece of business fell on them.

“It was something to never do again,” Robson said.

Robson said he had experience with hurricanes, but never like Ian.

“It was… I’m not going to put my wife through anything like that again,” Robson said, his voice full of emotion. “We are doing well. We did it.”

After his cell phone was stolen, he and his wife fled to their pickup truck, where they stayed for six hours.

Robson said he plans to rebuild.

“We love this place,” he said. “It’s all we’ve ever wanted.”

Despite the heavy blow, the social director of the park is doing his best to reassure those who remain.

“A lot of people lost their homes and their dreams more than anything else. Because you know when you become a senior citizen, you can’t wait to retire. And a lot of people saved their money and put it together and said this is their second home and they’re going to, you know, live here and be happy and put their feet up and sit on the beach. A lot of that is gone now,” said Beverly Morford.

Morford hosts lunch and dinner every day for those people who have lost everything. The lunch and dinner were made possible by donations from people all over the world.

Many evacuees returned to find their homes gone. They can apply only to the cultural center.

Bill Tomlinson said he lost his roof.

“I ended up with water damage inside,” Tomlinson said.

He said he still has standing water and his ceiling is starting to sag.

“I have a serious problem with mold,” Tomlinson said.

He enters the room only to use the toilet.