Offers of help pouring in for evicted family

By Diane Walker - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – We continue to get calls and e-mails from people concerned about Mark Banks. Mark is in rehab re-learning how to walk and talk after several strokes caused by lupus. While he's getting therapy, his wife and kids were getting evicted from their Henrico apartment on Tuesday.

Many of you want to know: did they get a home? No, not yet. But, we do have prospects.

We've put Mark's wife in touch with two area landlords who called, and a third person is working another option that may pan out next week. Meantime, the family was given a few extra days to pack, as they prepare to leave their apartment.

The eviction deadline was Tuesday, one hour before our broadcast on the Banks family plight. Mark, the sole provider, is unable to work -- stricken with a debilitating lupus diagnosis that rendered the family homeless.

"I can't provide for him because he needs to eat regularly and take his medicines regularly. It's no way that I can really do that if I don't have...a roof over my head," said Mark's wife Lois.

Lois says the apartment manager authorized an extension until Friday to vacate the apartment. She and their two children will stay with relatives. Lexington Court Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center is appealing to Mark's insurance company for extra time, but he must be discharged at some point.

"It's rough just sitting beside her right now. It's rough," said Mark. "She's my wife for 22 years…to have everything just flip upside down like that. The whole world changed. I was the bread winner. I got 2 small kids at home to take care of and bills and responsibilities like everybody else."

Mark's hopeful and so are we given the emails we've received. One woman writes: "Their plight touched my heart to tears." Others are pledges from individuals, and a company's offer to hold a benefit for the family to help them stay together under one roof, as a family should.

"He's running out of options. We're looking for some way for him to get into a 1st floor apartment help him get a jump start back into life," said Rehab Director Tim Burner with Lexington Court Rehab.

The family has set up a trust account at the Henrico County Credit Union under "Mark Banks" if you'd like to donate. There are 3 locations, Parham Road, West Broad, and Laburnum Ave.

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