Elderly man says family wouldn't pay rent

An elderly Oildale man spends most of his time at the Rasmussen senior center because he doesn't want to be at home.

About 10 months ago, 79-year-old John Capinha allowed a family, who had fallen on hard times move into his home.

However, over time, the situation became intolerable, so he asked them to leave.

"We made an arrangement that they would pay me $250 a month, but they stopped paying several months ago," said Capinha.

Capinha said he asked the family to leave several times but they refused to leave, so he started the eviction process.

"They were taking advantage of me and my kindness, because $250 is not a lot of money and they didn't even pay that," said Capinha.

Capinha said he got to know the family after he hired a woman to clean his home.

The woman got introduced to Capinha through Kern County Aging and Adult Services.

The woman applied for a job with In-Home Supportive Services and cleaned Capinha's home for about two years.

The woman went through the registry at Aging and Adult Services and passed the background check.

The county agency provides a list of names for clients to choose from when they are looking for an in-home supportive services provider.

After a senior chooses to hire a specific individual, Kern County Aging and Adult Services is not required to monitor the employment.

About 11 months ago, the woman shared that she and her husband were falling on hard times and needed a place to stay, Capinha said.

The agency does not recommend seniors allow providers to move into their home or let providers borrow money.

"It's very difficult to set those parameters. When people work together for long periods of time, they grow a friendship. What usually erodes that friendship is when money is involved," said Jeremy Oliver, Kern County Aging and Adult Services.

Capinha says he would like to see policy changes where providers are not allowed to put seniors in uncomfortable situations by sharing their hardships and asking for help.

"I only got to know these people through the agency, then they gave me their sob story and I bought it," said Capinha.

Kern County Aging and Adult Services works closely with the District Attorney's Office to investigate fraud if the provider commits a crime.

"It is completely the discretion of the in-home services recipient to hire or fire that person that they have working for them," said Oliver.

The Kern County Sheriff Department served the eviction notice on the family this week.

The woman and her husband were completely shocked when the noticed was served.

"When things started going difficult for us, we told John we needed a place to stay and he agreed. He said, he wanted to help us out and he was lonely," said Jim Smith.

The woman said things got bad at the home around Thanksgiving when Capinha asked them to do more chores around the house.

"We paid him what we could, but after my knee surgery, I could not do additional work around the house and we were a little behind on the rent," said the woman.

Capinha said the family only took advantage of him because he was senior.

"They weren't paying all their rent, so I asked them to do some yard work and they refused. That's when I began the eviction process," said Capinha.

The family has until the 14th to move out of the home. However, they say, they will be out in the next day or two.

Kern County Aging and Adult Services says seniors should report any situation in which they feel they are being taken advantage of, contact them here - 661-868-1000.

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