Before being moved by the county to Tall Trees about a year ago, Stunz and her mother, Sara Pollock, shared a dilapidated apartment in Riverdale, an east-side complex condemned in 1997 and flattened by the bulldozer. There were brief stays in two apartments in Essex before they reached Tall Trees.
"We can't afford anything else," Stunz says, walking into her kitchen. "My mother and me exist on what we get from Social Security and my father's pension. He was at least good for something in that respect."
To an outsider, it would make perfect sense for Stunz to place her mother in a nursing home. Pollock needs assistance past her bed. "I just can't lift her up anymore when she falls," Stunz says.
But a nursing home is out of the question.
"People die quick; they give up, knowing they're in a nursing home," says Stunz. "Nobody left in my family except my sister up near Havre de Grace. My mother has heart trouble, arthritis. If we had money it could be different, but I generally don't get out of the apartment but every five or six days because I can't leave my mother alone."
Stunz is guarded about releasing details of her family history; she refuses to have her picture taken. A huge painting of a proud Army paratrooper, her brother, dominates the living room. "That's Frederick. He was coming home from World War II when he was hit by a truck in Tennessee. I think he won all sorts of medals with the 11th Airborne."
It's curious to Stunz, fingering an ashtray on her kitchen counter, that some people get more than their share of the grunt work while others pull the strings, becoming rich from the pending sale.
"We really don't have a place to go; I can't even get out and look for a place," she says. "We got to have a first-floor place. But it's crazy, they can come up tomorrow and slap an eviction notice on your front door. Get out, it'll say, in 30 days.
"But I wonder what these money people, some of these bureaucrats even, would feel like if they were told to get out of their homes today or tomorrow. Silly question to even ask, isn't it? Things like that never happen."