Moral Low Ground

Civil Liberties

‘Occupy Minnesota’ Helps Monique White Stay in Her Home for the Holidays

Last week, we brought you the story of Brigitte Walker, a wounded Atlanta-area Iraq war veteran whose home was saved from foreclosure by the good folks at ‘Occupy Atlanta.’

Now it’s happened again. According to al-Jazeera, ‘Occupy Minnesota’ is helping Monique White, who’s raising two sons and a grandchild, to stay in the North Minneapolis home she’s owned since 2003. White was the first member of her family to own their own home, and with a stable job as a youth counselor, she considered herself lucky to have achieved the American dream.

But despite reassurances that her job was safe, White was laid off early in 2010. Despite a statewide unemployment rate of just 6% (the national average is closer to 9%), African-Americans in Minnesota are struggling with a jobless rate that is a shocking three times higher than it is for whites. White pounded the pavement but was only able to find part-time work, not nearly enough to afford the mortgage payments on her $127,000 home.

White attempted to work with the mortgage holder, Freddie Mac, but to no avail. Even though her home’s value has decreased significantly, Freddie Mac refused to work with her and threatened to evict her in November.

That’s when White turned to ‘Occupy Minnesota’ for help.

“I’m not asking for a handout,” she told al- Jazeera. “I’m not saying give me my house for free. Basically, what I’m asking is to sit down with me, be reasonable, write my loan, and make it affordable for me to keep my house.”

‘Occupy Minnesota’ has been there for White, providing support in ways big and small. They even got her family a Christmas tree. Freddie Mac has postponed White’s eviction– for now. She could still be booted from her home. But the lender has said it would consider allowing White to rent the house.

The effort to save Monique White’s home is part of the nationwide ‘Occupy Our Homes’ campaign, part of the larger ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement. ‘Occupy Our Homes’ has been praised by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), who has been encouraging Americans facing foreclosure to squat in their own homes.

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