(WSVN) - An update now to a unique 7 Investigates. A couple made the front porch of someone else’s home their living room, and it ended with an eviction like no other. Here’s 7’s Karen Hensel.
7News captured this strange sight in early March.
A couple living in the front yard of a home in Miami’s Shenandoah neighborhood.
The woman seen defecating behind plants, an Amazon driver delivering bags of groceries from Whole Foods, and a man in the yard carrying a small bird.
The couple ordered the supplies to the home, but they are not the homeowners.
They live on the front porch.
Neighbor: “This is something we’ve been living with for many years, and we’ve had enough.”
As we first reported in February, a frustrated neighbor contacted us about the living conditions.
Sleeping, snacking, painting, pushing shopping carts and going to the bathroom.
All on someone else’s property and all for anyone passing by to see.
Neighbor: “They’re exposing themselves when they urinate and defecate outside in the front yard.”
Concerned neighbors don’t want to show their faces, but they have complained to city officials for years.
Finally, last week, authorities carried out an eviction order.
Police say the woman refused shelter, refused to leave and was arrested for trespassing.
Neighbor: “It was a very sad sight to see, and it just didn’t have to get to that point.”
So, how did it get to the point where a Miami homeowner had to go to court to evict a couple from her front porch? It turns out what ended on this lawn started a long time ago, and the backstory involves family, fear and plenty of frustration.
Antonia, homeowner (translation): “I was telling them, ‘Leave. You have to look for a place,’ and they said they were not leaving.”
Antonia is the homeowner, and the woman living outside is her younger sister.
The 73-year old — who still works — says she has even paid for the couple to live elsewhere.
Antonia (translation): “It hurts me because she is my sister, my blood, and I have tried to help her the best I can.”
But the help turned into a hindrance when the couple kept coming back.
Antonia has had to evict them twice — first in 2017 from her backyard, and now, from the front porch.
The sister outside is a disbarred attorney and fought the latest eviction.
Woman (in police body camera video): “I stopped it temporarily with a COVID memorandum.”
Police have responded repeatedly to complaints here with body cameras rolling.
Man (in police body camera video): “We’ve been here for two years.”
Officer: “On the porch?”
Officer: “So, in two years, you haven’t found a place to stay?”
Antonia says her sister made these dents in the front door.
Antonia (translation): “The problem is her character. She doesn’t want to adapt to society, and she is not friendly with people.”
Woman (in cellphone video): “Stay the [expletive] away from me.”
She was not interested in talking with us.
Karen Hensel: “I’m going to leave my card for you.”
Woman: “Get off my property.”
Karen Hensel: “This is not your property.”
Officers also had a difficult time.
Officer (in police body camera video): “Look, look, I need you right here and stop moving around. Stop.”
Commissioner Manolo Reyes, City of Miami: “Unfortunately, the government moves very slow.”
Miami Commissioner Manolo Reyes says the couple has refused offers of help.
Karen Hensel: “Code enforcement will come out if you have something wrong with your yard, but yet, somebody can live on somebody’s front yard. How does that happen?”
Manolo Reyes: “That is a contradiction. It is a contradiction.”
Neighbor: “The fact that TV had to come here and cover it and whatnot, and that’s when we start seeing reaction, it was very shocking to us.”
Neighbors are grateful it’s over for now.
Neighbor: “It’s the first step in getting back to normalcy in the neighborhood.”
Meanwhile, after years, the yard was cleaned up, the porch hosed down and a fence is going up.
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