For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeannie Alexander 615-799--8108
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Homeless, Tired of foreclosures, Reclaim Vacant Government Homes
The Nashville Homeless Power Project led a march of poor and homeless families for housing, Wednesday which culminated with the takeover of vacant HUD homes. The march began at 1:00 p.m. in front of the Metro Court House then proceeded to Dickerson Road, an area that has been recently rezoned for luxury development. The homeless group is concerned that redevelopment will again not prioritize the needs of the poor and may push families out of the area. “In this time of foreclosures, many of us are facing homelessness. We need our city to prioritize poor and working families above luxury development. Despite repeated promises from local government the homeless are left the die in the streets while their demand for housing is ignored” said Clemmie Greenlee, formerly homeless grandmother and organizer with the Power Project.
The march then became a caravan and participants were driven to Tom Joy Elementary School where the group held a brief prayer vigil for the estimated 1,800 homeless school children in the Nashville area. The march ended where one of the vacant HUD homes has been reclaimed. Homeless people vow not to leave the homes voluntarily.
Cheri Honkala, National Organizer of the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign, also participated in the march and takeover and cited the City of Nashville for “ their failure to address the homeless crisis and rise in foreclosures. “ Representatives of the power project vow that the May 7th march and takeover is the next step in a fight that will not end until everyone has access to safe and affordable housing. Jeannie Alexander, program director of the Power Project further stated that the takeover was the first public takeover of a vacant HUD home by the Power Project but that the organization has “covertly taken over more than a dozen other vacant houses in the city” and will continue to take additional houses “as long as there are people who do not have homes.”