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Sacramento Tent City Fills Up With The Newly Jobless And Homeless.
Care-America hands out free supplies. The tent city is seeing an
increase in population as the economy worsens and more people are
becoming unemployed and their homes slip into foreclosure.
By Cliff Bailey

Along with the explosion in foreclosures, an equally explosive movement is developing to keep people in their homes — no matter what. This burgeoning movement of desperate homeowners to stay put has caught the attention of grassroots organizations and of politicians everywhere.
One in almost every 500 housing units is now in foreclosure. That’s close to a quarter million foreclosures in January alone. An increase of 18% over last year. That’s over three million new foreclosures just this year. That’s three million homeless families — homeless if they follow the rules of the capitalist class that got us in this mess in the first place
It is no surprise that people are squatting or breaking into vacant houses. They need a place to live — any place. This is particularly true in Rust Belt cities where the loss of manufacturing jobs has pushed people to the brink.
An example of this is Sheriff Thomas Dart, in Cook County, Illinois. Sheriff Dart announced he would not evict innocent people from their homes anymore.  He suspended foreclosure evictions in Cook County.  Renters were being evicted from their apartments because the landlord had fallen behind on mortgage payments and their building went into foreclosure.
In February, the group ACORN responded to the plight of thousands by launching “Home Defenders”, which will help homeowners stay put in their foreclosed homes, or in some cases, will help them move back in. Bertha Lewis, ACORN’S chief organizer, said in an interview. “Politicians have helped banks, but they haven’t helped families in the way that it’s needed, and these families are now saying, enough is enough.” 
Representative Marcy Kaptur, Toledo, Ohio said on the floor of the House “Stay in your homes.”  “So I say to the American people, you be squatters in your own homes. Don’t you leave.” This in response to a mountain of letters, emails and phone calls from people who are about to be put out on the street.
In Wayne County, Michigan, which includes Detroit, Sheriff Warren C. Evans suspended all evictions until the federal government implements a plan to help homeowners facing foreclosures. Evans said he’s reviewed federal laws and concluded that continuing weekly foreclosure sales conflicts with a recently enacted law (TARP) that protects homeowners.
In Butler County, Ohio another hard hit Rust Belt city, Sheriff Richard K. Jones ordered his deputies not to evict people who had no place else to go. “This is a cold place in the winter and I will not give people a death sentence for not paying their debts,” Sheriff Jones said in an interview.
With the help of neighbors and friends even individual homeowners are standing up to the banks and saying enough is enough. For instance, Myrna Millington, 73, who lives in Laurelton, Queens was foreclosed on in September but refused to leave. “I may lose my home, but I’m only leaving in handcuffs,” Ms. Millington said.
Stay in your home! Enough is enough. If you are in or about to be in foreclosure, get help. Enlist the help of your neighbors. Contact your church and other local groups. They can help. Call your Representative. Don’t allow the fat cats to put you out on the street without a fight. Others are doing it. So can you. Add yours to the millions of voices clamoring for the government to provide housing. It is your right!

The People’s Tribune is your paper. It can connect everyone’s battles.

The system of housing people in use since World War II is broken. Broken, possibly, beyond repair. Fewer  qualify for a mortgage.  Housing prices continue to fall, making it  impossible for those still working to stay in the house they thought was theirs.
Was the house really theirs? Stop making payments and you will soon see who owns the house. The bank really owns the house. It is the property of financial capital. You are renting it from them. Rent disguised as mortgage payments.
What will replace this system? How will we house the millions who are homeless now and the millions more that will become homeless just this year?
Bankers aren’t interested in housing. If they were, monthly mortgage payments would be reduced to affordable levels so people could stay in their homes. Instead they pursue a slash-and-burn policy of ruthless foreclosure.
The government isn’t interested in housing. If it were, foreclosures would have been stopped so people could stay in their homes. Instead billions were handed over to the banks.
What does work is neighbors helping neighbors. One person can make a difference. Individually and  collectively, with the help of local and national organizations, we  can provide housing for all. Thru  the U.S. Government we the people already own over two million empty houses. It’s time, we claim what is already ours. The future is truly up to us.

~Cliff Bailey

We poor not just statistics,
our names they are not numbers.
We are human beings to be specific,
no longer will we be somebody’s plunder.

So what if we don’t possess a roof?
Does that mean we have no right to sleep?
and when I travel it’s mostly on the hoof,
trusting that God my soul will keep.

How many “ologist” have done studies of us?
Wondering why we must live on the streets.
We understand the reasons for poverty,
to keep us in bondage this can’t be beat.

If people weren’t poor who’d work the bad jobs?
The system makes money from people being homeless.
We poor are not lazy, misbegotten slobs,
it’s lack of information that keeps us all powerless.

To extinguish poverty we must stand together.
We can all use our voices to work as one.
Acting with power through the stormiest weather,
we will conquer injustice when this is done.

We can fight to end this war on the poor,
with dignity to make our lives more fair.
Every person would have their own key to a door,
a living wage, and universal health care.

Building information to share with each other,
without anyone working for us anymore.
By standing strong with our sisters and brothers,
we can challenge the powers that keep us all poor.

— LoriAnne Tennison


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PO Box 3524, Chicago, IL 60654, 773-486-3551,
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