Hearthstone Thrift Shop Loses Eviction Battle
At an eviction hearing Tuesday, Judge Marilyn Hosley ruled against Susan Sampson and William Sampson.
They own Hearthstone Ministries, a thrift shop in Adams with a church inside.
The couple has until the end of August to leave.
"Not concerned, confused," William Sampson said, "but we're going to keep going with what God's called us to do."
"We've heard more times than I can count we thought we were forgotten," church member Rebecca Cabrera said. "We don't want people to think they're forgotten. We didn't forget them."
The Sampsons received an eviction notice in April and have been fighting it ever since.
Hosley says she feels bad for the tenants, but says they should have done more to show they wanted to stay in the building.
"They should have made themselves clearer that they did want the building, what they could offer, and to see if she would accept it," Hosley said.
The Sampsons say they expressed interest in purchasing the property back in December. The landlord, Peggy Brouty, denied that in court.
Either way, the members of Hearthstone Ministries say they will never stop looking for ways to serve their community.
"It's almost as if God's saying 'okay I started you here, it's time to go somewhere better,'" Cabrera said.
"If it's God's will then that's the way it is," William Sampson said, but we're not going to quit."
The Sampsons wanted to stay so badly, they continued paying rent even after they received their eviction notice.
The judge says the landlord will return the rent the Sampsons paid for June and July.
As an incentive to leave, the Sampsons will pay $20 a day in August for every day they stay in the building.
The owners of Hearthstone Ministries say they will have a fundraiser on August 17 in order to raise money for their next establishment.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016, Watertown, NY
On Wall Street