Foreclosed homes for homeless families
As homes are foreclosed upon, and more people end up homeless, some groups are putting the two together to solve both problems.
As foreclosure rates across the nation skyrocket to record breaking levels, the image of a boarded up home or long vacant driveway are slowly become part of the American landscape. Two organizations are fighting to change that portrait while addressing another pressing national concern: increasing homelessness.
Joining "The Takeaway" to explain their fights are Max Rameau, who is part of the grass roots organization Take Back the Land that places homeless families in foreclosed homes, and Brian Davis, executive director for the North East Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, who hopes to find the funding to start a similar project in Cleveland that will allow his agency to buy up foreclosed homes and turn them into new starts for homeless families. Also joining the discussion is Michael Stoops, executive director for the National Coalition for the Homeless in Washington, D.C.
"We think that homes, houses, should be primarily and fundamentally for human beings, not for profit centers for corporations. And I do think we need to see that shift in people's minds, then a shift in public policy," says Rameau.
In Cleveland, there are about three times as many houses as there are homeless people. Brian Davis says, "We're trying to pilot a project to take a few of those houses before they get destroyed, before the wrecking ball comes in, provide them to homeless people who have some skills, who can fix up the property, and eventually they would be turned over to them after they meet housing quality standards."
Michael Stoops, executive director for the National Coalition for the Homeless, adds, "What Max (Rameau) and Brian (Davis) are doing in both Miami and Cleveland are like role models for the rest of the country. There are individuals and activist groups like Take Back the Land in other cities around the country that are doing exactly what is happening in Miami. It is something that we very much support. Forty-four percent of the nation's homeless are unsheltered, and we need to get homes for all of our homeless individuals."
More at thetakeaway.org