No mail delivery confounds Clifton residents

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Nina Pineda helps an apartment complex resolve its mail issue. (WABC)

Imagine not getting any mail for weeks. That's what happened at an apartment complex full of needy families in New Jersey.

"I'm not talking to you until you tell me who called you," said the head of a charity, Paterson Coalition for Housing Inc, that owns this Clifton apartment complex where tenants complain their mail's a mess, didn't want to hear the news 7 On Your Side was delivering.

"That is frustrating because that's part of your daily habit," said Maureen Promin, a tenant said. It stopped about month ago, Promin said, but she has no idea why.

"You have to go pick it up. And it's a distance and John doesn't drive and he's a disabled vet," Promin said.

"So your mail is just left here on the table?" Pineda asked.

"Yep and anyone can pick it up," said John Bodtmann, a tenant.

Formerly homeless tenants like Vietnam veteran Bodtmann say their landlord used to have office workers sort the mail for the 23 units in the transitional housing village which is non-profit charity. But the office hasn't been staffed, and as a result, mail's left on a table, an ID thief's dream. So the post office stopped leaving it.

Residents want "cluster mailboxes," and say they would help. But the local postmaster told 7 On Your Side the building's listed a business which by rule doesn't allow for individual mailboxes.

When we tried to explain that to the owner, she didn't want to hear it, shutting the door on 7 On Your Side. But we went ahead and got the mail delivered anyway.

After we asked the local postmaster to have the mail sorted in temporary cubbies and meet with the owner, the hard feelings went away.

"I want to apologize so much for the way I acted," said Theres Tolomeo, the head of Paterson Coalition for Housing, Inc. She went from slamming the door to smiling.

"I want to thank you for getting involved and being the impetus to getting this done," Tolomeo said.

Resident tell 7 On Your Side the mail, for the first time in weeks, is being properly delivered and sorted by the mail carrier. The owner of the charity running the complex says local postmaster is trying to get them a mailbox cluster with locking doors.

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7 On Your SidemailmanClifton
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