Published February 04, 2009 @ 09:09PM PST
If you're like me, this foreclosure crisis makes you sick. Every time I read a story about a family losing their home or see pictures of piles of possessions on the side of the road, my stomach aches.
Not only is the foreclosure process inhumane, it's bad for the economic health of our communities. Vacant properties, neighborhood blight, increased homelessness, and declining property values are just a few of the problems we're left with after the onslaught of sub-prime lending.
Indeed, bearing witness to the decaying of our neighborhoods and the suffering of our neighbors can conjure up some serious feelings of being, well, powerless to the foreclosure storm. Not to mention downright furious about how irresponsible and illogical our nation's response has been to this housing mess.
Now don't start slumping and/or seething in your seat just yet. This week, ACORN is rolling out Home Defenders, a program that uses the power of people like you and me to keep people off the streets and in their homes:
ACORN members are launching a Homesteading effort as part of ACORN's comprehensive foreclosure campaign. ACORN is working with its membership and activists around the country to build "Home Defender Teams." These teams will be prepared to mobilize on short notice to peacefully help defend a family's right to stay in their homes until a fair solution to the crisis is put into place by the new Administration. We are recruiting allies and elected officials to support our efforts and call for a full and comprehensive solution to this crisis.
Ah, peaceful disobedience... grassroots organizing... defending a family's right to their home. It's like music to my ears.
Just think: here we have the power to stand up for people in our communities. To prevent foreclosure displacement before it happens while making banks and government officials pay attention.
The Home Defenders program is rolling out in two stages. The first stage will include eight "Tier 1" metro areas: Baltimore, MD; Contra Costa County, CA; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Oakland, CA; Orlando, FL and Tucson, AZ. Initial trainings for people located in these metro areas will take place during the second week in February, with kick-off events scheduled to occur during the 3rd week of the month.
The second stage will include 16 "Tier 2" metro areas: Albany, NY; Boston, MA; Bridgeport, CT; Broward County, FL; Cincinnati, OH; Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Durham, NC; Flint, MI; Minneapolis, MN; Pittsburgh, PA; Raleigh, NC; San Mateo County, CA; and Wilmington, DE. Trainings and kick-off events will occur a few weeks after those in the Tier 1 cities.
New cities are continuing to join this campaign, so if you do not live near any of the metro areas listed above, you can still participate in actions to save the homes of families in your community as they come on-board. For people who live in areas that will not have local organizers helping drive this program, ACORN is creating Home Defender Tool-Kits that help you fight back against the crisis in your neighborhood.
I urge you: sign up to become a Home Defender today. Ask 10 friends to do the same. The effects of the foreclosure crisis are devastating to our neighbors and our neighborhoods to sit idly by.