Neighbors of a disabled man in Gloucester Township, New Jersey, have taken it upon themselves to pay off his debts so he can hopefully remain in his home.
Lamar Harris, 39, is well-known to all of the residents living on Cherry Circle. He grew up in the house he calls home, but now that his family has all passed away, Harris learned from a legal complaint that his home is in danger of foreclosure.
Neighbor Tom Brake told reporters that he will do everything in his power to help his friend.
“I’ve been looking after him for so many years now, he’s like part of my family, and I just can’t let anything happen to him,” he said.
Harris’ mother died when he was 8, and his father died suddenly in 2015. His brother passed away only a year later.
However, Harris, who cannot read or drive because of his disabilities, continues to remain positive.
“He takes out people’s trash on Mondays. He brings the empty trashcans back in,” said neighbor Michelle Bradbury. “If you are on vacation he will get your newspaper. He’ll get your mail.”
Neighbors have dubbed him the “Mayor of Cherry Circle” and said he is always helping someone.
“The first day that my mom met Lamar he already started helping with the garden,” neighbor Giovanna Monaco told reporters. “All I can remember about him is he just loves to help everyone.”
So far, a GoFundMe page has raised $58,845 of its $50,000 goal to save Harris’ house. The page states that “Gloucester Township has filed a lien for back property taxes and Lamar is in imminent danger of losing his home.”
The post continues:
We, his neighbors and fellow members of his church, are trying to raise the funds needed to stop the foreclosure of his home. He has an August 5th deadline to raise the money. Please help us to help him. He has no one else and nowhere else to go. We, his neighbors, have all banded together and have been watching out for Lamar since his dad died. This problem just recently came to light and is too big for just his neighbors to handle.
Reports said neighbors have spoken with the township’s tax collector and attorney. However, the attorney said they will only negotiate with Harris directly.
“Harris needs an attorney to represent him, and at least 50 percent of what is owed before the lawyer will negotiate. And he has until Aug. 5 to get those things,” Patch.com reported.
Despite the debt he owes, Harris knows his neighbors are looking out for him. “They love me and they are trying to help me,” he told NBC10.