Florida condo association tells displaced Hurricane Dorian survivors they are not welcome

Synobia Reckley pauses on a wet mattress as her husband Dexter Edwards consoles her amid the remains of their home destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in Rocky Creek East End, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. The couple married two days after Hurricane Mathew hit in 2016 but did not do serious damage. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) thegrio.com
Synobia Reckley pauses on a wet mattress as her husband Dexter Edwards consoles her amid the remains of their home destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in Rocky Creek East End, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. The couple married two days after Hurricane Mathew hit in 2016 but did not do serious damage. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

A Florida woman seeking to give some family friends displaced by Hurricane Dorian a place to stay, says her condo association is threatening her with daily fines in order to keep them out of her home.

According to Tampa, Fla., station WFLA, Donell Pubien’s home on the Bahamian island Abaco, was barely standing and unlivable following the devastating storm, the worst in the Caribbean nation’s history.

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“Rocks would fly through and sound like shotgun bullets,” recalls Pubien. “This hurricane was really devastating.”

Fortunately, his friend Teena Lavalvo, who he’s known for about 10 years, invited him, his family, and other displaced Bahamians safety in her townhome. Lavalvo even helped Pubien arrange for a private plane to take them all off the island.

However, while Lavalvo may have had an open heart for the islanders, her condo association felt differently, and forbade her from providing further assistance even when the group of visitors went from seven people down to just Pubien on his own.

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“She indicated that she had been informed that I had brought in displaced families to my home and that it was against the guidelines of our association,” Lavalvo said.

A few days after that conversation the good samaritan received an official letter from her association’s management company stating that her the home is only meant for a single-family and she is therefor not allowed to rent out any rooms out. That message was peculiar give she’d made it clear that she was providing temporary free housing following a natural disaster.

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“I do not understand how this association, or any other community wouldn’t behave empathy for the fact that we were going through a very short period of transition,” Lavalvo said. “Out of everything, you’re always going to find spiteful people and people that just don’t care about other people. But you’ll always find good people wherever you go.”

Despite her desire to be here for her friends, starting next week, the condo association is threatening to fine her between $100 to $1,000 every single day if she doesn’t make other arrangements for any displaced Bahamians in her residence.