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US Homeless mothers with Oakland's 'Moms 4 Housing' have been forcibly evicted from a vacant home they were occupying

14:15  15 january  2020
14:15  15 january  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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Moms 4 Housing was evicted on Tuesday after taking shelter in a vacant home . She joined up with other homeless mothers to form Moms 4 Housing . And then they started looking for a vacant “These are homes that were previously occupied by people who could not make their payments.

Homeless women ordered by a judge last week to leave a vacant house they occupied illegally in No children were present during the 5:15 a.m. eviction because the mothers had sent them away for safekeeping. Moms 4 Housing said after the eviction that its efforts will continue despite the arrests.

a sign in front of a house: Signs are posted outside of a house that was occupied by homeless women in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.© Jeff Chiu/AP Signs are posted outside of a house that was occupied by homeless women in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.

A group of homeless mothers and their children in California were forcibly evicted on Tuesday from a vacant home they were illegally living in for months, officials said.

Alameda County Sheriff's deputies used a court order to remove the mothers who belonged to the Oakland group "Moms 4 Housing" around 5 a.m. on Tuesday.

No children were in the house during the forced eviction, Dominique Walker, a group member and spokeswoman, told CNN.

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A group of Oakland mothers that ave been dubbed " Moms 4 Housing " were removed from the vacant home they had been living in by Alameda County sheriff' s

Moms 4 Housing leaders were evicted from a home the group was occupying early Tuesday morning. The home on Magnolia Street—which was bought in foreclosure by real estate speculation firm Wedgewood, Inc.— was occupied by Moms 4 Housing in November as a protest of the housing

Deputies also arrested three people, including two mothers, inside the home, Alameda County Sheriff Public Information Officer Ray Kelly said in a press conference Tuesday morning.

Oakland residents 38-year old Misty Cross, 36-year old Tolani King and 25-year old Jesse Turner will face misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing the eviction process, according to Kelly. A fourth person who arrived after the eviction began was also arrested.

"We view what happened today as a beginning of a movement," Walker told CNN. "This is a movement for housing for all."

A long battle for a place to call home

The "Moms 4 Housing" group had occupied the vacant house on Magnolia Street since November 18. That residence, which Walker said was vacant for over two years, belonged to Wedgewood Inc., which started the eviction process shortly after the group moved in.

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A group of homeless mothers were arrested and evicted from a vacant home they had occupied in a West Oakland neighborhood on Tuesday, the Two of the women Misty and Tolani are founders of Moms 4 Housing an advocacy group aiming to reclaim vacant housing from real estate developers

In Oakland , California, a group of mothers fighting homelessness is waging a battle against real estate speculators and demanding permanent The firm tried to evict them , claiming they were illegally squatting on private property, but the mothers went to court and filed a “right to possession”

According to their website, "Moms4Housing" is a "collective of unhoused and insecurely housed mothers, organizing to reclaim vacant homes from real estate speculators."

"Wedgewood is pleased the illegal occupation of its Oakland home has ended peacefully," Sam Singer, a Wedgewood spokesman, told CNN.

"That is what the company has sought since the start. We will now work with a non-profit, Shelter 37, to renovate the home giving opportunities to at-risk Oakland youths and splitting the profits with the non-profit so that other youths may benefit."

Walker, a single working mother of two, was homeless before moving into the vacant house. She and another mother of two lived in the vacant home before they were forcibly evicted.

"It shows the pure evilness of speculators," Walker said in response to the Wedgewood statement. "This is why we want them out of our community. They have no respect for the communities, no respect for humanity, only respect for profit and greed. This house means nothing to them."

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The mothers said the house had been vacant for two years, and that they were acting partly in protest against speculators buying up properties in “The solution to Oakland ’ s housing crisis is not the redistribution of citizens’ homes through illegal break-ins and seizures by squatters,” Singer said.

The mothers , who call themselves Moms 4 Housing , have occupied the home since November. The home ' s owner, Los Angeles County-based real estate firm Wedgewood, won a court battle last week to have the women evicted . In the court order released Friday, a judge said sheriffs could forcibly

Walker said the group of mothers even offered to buy the vacant home for the price Wedgewood paid for it, but their offer was rejected.

The "Moms 4 Housing" spokeswoman initially filed a claim of right to possession with the Alameda County Superior Court on December 17. She was being represented by attorneys with Brunner & Mehta and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.

"Data reveals that there are four vacant homes within Oakland for every one of the city's homeless residents," the claim read. "Ms. Walker and her children began to occupy and continue to occupy the premises to meet their right to housing."

Her lawyers argued that Walker had a right to live in the home which "sat vacant for years," according to the claim.

On Friday, the court denied her claim and gave the sheriff's office five days to evict the mothers, Micah Clatterbaugh, an associate attorney with Siegel, Yee, Brunner & Mehta, told CNN.

"The court recognizes the importance of these issues but, as raised in connection with Ms. Walker's claim of right to possession, finds that they are outside the scope of this proceeding," Alameda County Superior Court Judge Patrick McKinney said in the final ruling.

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SAN FRANCISCO — Homeless women ordered by a California judge last week to leave a vacant house they illegally occupied in Oakland for two months were evicted before dawn Tuesday by sheriff' s deputies in a case that highlighted the state' s severe housing shortage and growing numbers

Everybody that was originally in Oakland , they are either displaced hours away and have to Singer added, “The solution to Oakland ’ s housing crisis is not the redistribution of citizens’ homes through illegal “And it was totally legitimate for those homeless moms to take over that house ,” Skinner said.

The fight continues

On the night before the eviction, more than 300 people gathered in front of the home in support of the mothers, Walker told CNN.

a group of people posing for the camera: Sharena Thomas, left, Carroll Fife, center, Dominique Walker, second from right, and Tolani KIng, right, stand outside a vacant home they took over on Magnolia Street in West Oakland, Calif.© Kate Wolffe/AP Sharena Thomas, left, Carroll Fife, center, Dominique Walker, second from right, and Tolani KIng, right, stand outside a vacant home they took over on Magnolia Street in West Oakland, Calif. While most of the group went home by midnight, people immediately came back out the moment the eviction began.

"People were chanting, holding hands, locking arms," Walker said. "They told us they loved us and they appreciated us. This gives us the strength to keep going. We know what we're doing is important, and the community knows that, and they showed up for us."

Despite the support from the community, Walker said the situation was "extremely traumatic." The single mother was in the middle of a "Democracy Now!" interview with Amy Goodman when she was told, live on set, that "sheriffs were invading the house."

After immediately rushing home, Walker found that mothers and supporters of the movement had already been arrested. The group said they told sheriffs they would not resist arrest and would practice "nonviolent civil disobedience."

Kelly said there was a concern for officer safety upon entry based upon information from inside the home. When they arrived, both the front and back doors were barricaded, he said. After using force, they entered the house, where residents complied and asked to be arrested peacefully.

The effort cost the department "tens of thousands" of dollars, and the sheriff's office is considering sending the bill to Wedgewood Properties, according to Kelly.

"Everyone is realizing that it doesn't have to be this way," Walker said. "We are losing our humanity when we normalize and raise our children in a society where its normal to see our mothers, children, and our people out on the street."

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