MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Residents with serious mental illnesses, or SMI, have been informed by Copa Health that they must move out when their lease ends. Tenants can also leave early for $1,000 and have moving expenses covered. It’s happening in Mesa near Main Street and Alma School Road. “I’m 60; this is home,” said Wendy Studebaker. She is one of eight people with SMI that she calls a family but is now told they must leave. “We are going to be torn apart, torn apart all eight of us,” said Studebaker.
The tenants who receive government assistance received a letter on May 17 from Copa Health informing them they can no longer stay in the apartment when their lease ends or move before July 1 for the added benefits. They also included a housing voucher and a way to find another housing unit, but Studebaker said it was not helpful. “Everyone here went into panic overdrive, like, what do we do now? We are going to be scattered!” said Studebaker.
A spokesperson for Copa Health sent the following: