As Wall Street has devastated our community, targeting communities of color to gamble with our homes for profit, use public resources to evict our families, and leave homes to sit empty, homelessness in Hennepin County is at a six-year high. Big banks like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and US Bank leave foreclosed properties neglected, especially in communities of color, bringing down property values in the neighborhood and attracting crime. The City of Minneapolis has consistently used public resources to enforce evictions for the banks, but refuses to hold banks responsible for the upkeep of vacant properties, creating public safety hazards. Nationwide there are five vacant homes for every homeless person. With Minnesota’s brutal winters and history of creative solutions for social justice, we believe Minneapolis can and must be the first city in the country to end homelessness.
As under-resourced shelters turn people away in the bitter cold, and the city fails to provide real affordable housing options, we are creating our own solutions to homelessness. We are creating much-needed homes one at a time while pressuring Wall Street to donate these unused homes to community groups and working to pass a city ordinance that allows them to be used for affordable housing. We are bringing together homeowners, renters, and people experiencing homelessness to build a better Minnesota--where housing is truly a human right.