On the coldest day in ten years, Lynnette Stewart shared her story of home liberation to a crowd in City Hall Monday:
Greetings to all,
I'm here on this coldest of mornings to put a face to this crisis and share my story. My name is Lynnette Stewart and I was evicted from my home shortly before Christmas. I am a disabled working mother of four, with two of the four having disabilities of their own. Of the four I have two at home, along with two honorary adopted grandchildren and their mother who has been very ill. Supporting the whole family by myself was tough, but we were making it work until I was ordered to pay some unexpected court fees the week of Thanksgiving. I explained my situation to the management company and the landlord, asking them to allow my family to keep our home. But they decided to evict me anyway just before Christmas, at the onset of the coldest winter in twenty years. We had nowhere else to go.
I had to explain to my family what was about to happen. I decided not to go quietly, I shared my plight with my neighbor, I decided to try and have my eviction aired on the news, despite my embarrassment and humiliation.
My neighbors showed up showing their support. The eviction however was carried out. We had nowhere to go except to stay warm in the family vehicle. By the grace of God I am now in an Occupy home that had been foreclosed and was sitting vacant until we reclaimed it.
Rally for equity Monday, demanding City Hall prioritize closing racial equity gaps for many issues including affordable housing.
They say there's no affordable housing left for me and my family. Shelters are at capacity and turning people away. But there are far more abandoned foreclosed homes sitting empty in our communities than people who need housing. That's why it's so imperative that eminent domain be utilized so the city can work with community-controlled nonprofits to turn these homes into affordable housing for thousands of people like me who can't afford the inflated market rent. No one should have to sleep in their car or in the streets in this weather. The city of Minneapolis must make it a priority to provide stable and affordable housing for all its residents.
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