ARDMORE, Okla. -- An Ardmore woman is being forced to leave her home, and she says the Chickasaw Nation is behind the decision.
Paula Kendricks lost her husband, Terry, back in June. Days after her loss, the Chickasaw Nation Housing Authority asked Paula to pack her things and leave the first home she and her husband had owned.
Along with her mother and nephews, Paula Kendricks, 45, has spent the last few days packing up memories she and her husband shared over the last 21 years. On Monday, Paula was given until the end of the week to leave the home her husband had spent his last days in.
"I went to their office to find a way to keep the house. They told me there’s no way to stay in the home because you’re not Nation."
Kendricks never thought that when her husband passed away in June that she would be asked to leave their new house on G Street in Ardmore, a home that Kendricks says her husband Terry was so proud of.
"When we got this house, he was so happy. He said he finally got a home, and he said I know have something for you."
Chickasaw neighbors say that Terry was a great neighbor who spent most of his time in the yard. They say they are disappointed to see a widow lose her husband and her home because she’s not Chickasaw.
"I see the commercials how Chickasaws want to help all citizens and I was ashamed. Because she’s not Chickasaw, she’s been forced out," said one neighbor.
Paula says she just wants to stay in the home she and her husband loved so much. She feels the Chickasaw Nation is ripping it all away.
"When they took all of this away, it’s like losing him all over again. Nobody can imagine losing a husband and then your home."
We contacted the Chickasaw Nation housing authority and they did confirm they had asked Mrs. Kendricks to leave but declined to give any explanation. Kendricks says she hopes the nation will re-think their decision and let her move back, but in the meantime she says she will live with her mother.
The Chickasaws released this statement to KXII:
"We sympathize with Mrs. Kendricks and have made every effort to help her to find a solution in this situation. The option to buy the home was available through home loan programs open to the general public. We also offered to provide rental assistance through another program available to low-income families."
Robyn Elliott, Administrator, Division of