Foreclosed Homes For The Homeless

   By drodriguez  Apr 22, 2009

With home foreclosures reaching all time highs, unemployment rates skyrocketing and millions of Americans struggling every day to make ends meet, a handful of groups across the country are breaking the law to help families put roofs over their heads.  Advocacy groups like the Miami based Take Back the Land, Kensington Welfare Rights Union in Philadelphia and Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign in Minnesota have moved dozens of homeless families into vacant foreclosed houses over the last several months. 

As reported in the New York Times, CNN and on Fox News these organizations set themselves apart from unorganized bands of squatters in that they oftentimes screen their "clients" for mental illness and drug dependency, and require them to pay all utilities and keep up with housecleaning and maintenance.

Once a family passes the screening process the group will help them move into the foreclosed house, set up utilities, change the locks while absorbing most of the initial expenses.  Though removing squatters used to be a top priority for local law enforcement, it is being reported that sheriffs are often turning their heads or just too busy to patrol with the huge rise in foreclosures.

To evict someone from a foreclosed house law enforcement needs to have a signed affidavit from the owner of the property - usually a bank.  With the economy as bad as it is and the market flooded with vacant homes, a family may live under these conditions for close to a year before any one takes notice.

What do you think of the organizations that are illegally placing homeless people into vacant homes?

Should law enforcement officials simply look the other way when squatters take up residence in a foreclosed home?

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queendoreen by queendoreen | Coram, NY
Sep 18, 2010

They really don't have to do things that aren't legal, their are so many programs out there, for supoorted housing, for people with low or no income coming in. They can also turn these houses into section 8 housing and let the owners of the house apply for the help. Your putting one family out in the streets, and taking another family that is homeless and giving them housing, how does that make sense. With the way things are today, and all of the people that are losing their homes, the banks should work out some type of agreement, and give them the chance to save themselves from becoming homeless.

Supernovae by Supernovae | Berkeley, CA
Aug 27, 2010

It's a great idea. For families in trouble: make a note that you can do what these people did often times and stay in your home 6-12 months after foreclosure because banks are so backed up with paperwork.

mcgarvey32 by mcgarvey32 | GIBBSBORO, NJ
Jun 25, 2010

There is a right way and a wrong way for doing everyting. Although they feel what they are doing is morally right, it is illegal. So many good families are losing everything due to the economic situation. They should not lose their home and be tossed into the streets or forcedto live with friends/ relatives while a squatter moves into their home. The government should already have set something up to help tose who lose their homes or at the very minimum, put things into place to assist them with finding something else. But no one under any circumstance should be ing their heads" to allow others to live in someone's foreclosed home. Apply for the house and do the right thing.

farmerbrown2002 by farmerbrown2002 | springfield, LA
Nov 02, 2009

How about helping the people who lost it?I think the homeless need help but not like this.Do it legal,set up places for them.Help the home owners,who knows they might be homeless also.Be a shame to see a family lose their home and be on the street just to see another homeless person in it...

iritsoutherngirl by iritsoutherngirl | UNIVERSAL CTY, TX
Oct 15, 2009

I'm very much for helping people when they need help. But I don't agree with breaking laws in order to help them. Any person or organization that sets out to help others should find legal ways to do so.

momagarry by momagarry | MILWAUKEE, WI
Oct 03, 2009

This is a wonderful idea.

crystal_s2007 by crystal_s2007 | hazard, KY
Sep 29, 2009

i am still trying to comprehend what i've just read. so basically they're helping homeless people steal homes- pretty much what it amounts to right? that is absolutely ludicrous..

oceangirl1 by oceangirl1 | Waterbury, CT
Aug 15, 2009

(Cont. from above) They are not willing to help. I can not get any public assistance.. I am a U.S. Citizen worked since I was 16 years of age. Fell behind because of an illness and loss of job.But if you are not a U.S. Citizen you can get Public assistance - Food stamps, medical insurance (free) and Cash. They rather not help some one keep there home but give your home to someone else. What is wrong with this picture. Millions of American Citizens that worked in there country are not getting help. The veterans that served there country are getting less help than immigrants. There are probably more homeless citizens. Hello U.S. Government start helping your own people citizens.

oceangirl1 by oceangirl1 | Waterbury, CT
Aug 15, 2009

First of all there are supposed to be so many programs out there for people to save their homes. Not true; I have been trying to work with my mortgage company and several programs since December and no one want's to help. Even wrote to the White house four times and congressmen and women and no one answer's letter's even when you put want response. My husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and gets a partial pension from where he worked. I was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and still am going through test, treatments ect. I at that time was working for a Temp agency because that is all the work I could find in our area. I am not getting any income. All I hear from these programs is my income is too low. My expenses are higher than income. The modification that I am asking for is too but what I owe in rears in back of my loan and lower my interest rate.

stonemom by stonemom | Jerome, ID
Jul 15, 2009

Well i i understand where the need for this type of service is. But they should partner withthe banks and make it a temporary placement withthe banks permission for a determined amount of time. Other wise the illegal placement is not good. It sends the wrong message.

brandaojm by brandaojm | belleview, FL
Jul 14, 2009

So this is totally wrong and what will the homeless do when they are kicked back out into the streets to be homeless again? What is this scenario exactly solving?

malynn_199 by malynn_199 | thomaston, GA
Jun 26, 2009

I also see both sides of the stoies, but what are they thinking!! The reason people have this problem is because of the economy, I wish America would fix us first then the rest of the world.

xlessliex by xlessliex | Fall River, MA
Jun 22, 2009

I think this is like a totoally CRAZY situation. Yeah uhh the family that had been kicked out is now WHEERRE'mthey may be homeless! and yes these homelss ppl bein mved in are supposedly addicted to drugs or mentalyy illl then shouldnt they be placed in a facility that can help them rather then let them run sum one elses ( once) HOME? ALthoug i do TRULY bleieve in giving i belive that the fam that was there before deserves to be looked up and placed back in the home if they havent found a place by now, and these so called homeless can really be allowed to do this, it is insane but 'I DEF FEEL FOR THe FAM THAT HAD THIS HOMEBEFORE,,. and as much as it may suck i can understand both sides of this conflict here. GOD BLESS!

candle9025 by candle9025 | Belding, MI
Jun 14, 2009

I think that most of you have not been there...It may not be right in the eyes of the law...but I have lost a home and been put out..lived in my van till I could get into a place..with kids...Now I have lost my job after buying a house(4years) and may lose it..the bank wont talk about paying where do y ou go? The state will not pay a house payment..and rent is as much if not if you dont want people living in a house that is empty...come up with a new way...why let it set there for years and be of no use why not let someone move in and pay a low amount much more can the bank lose? We all need to go out and feel the pain of what is going the ones that need it...really help...there has to be a way...a way to feel safe and take care of our kids. To know that others around us care and will help if need be..

Cheribomb by Cheribomb | Oakwood, OH
Jun 14, 2009

Why not help the people that are being foreclosed on in the first place. Wow what and Idea!