Occupy Homes plans protest after more homeless people are arrested by MPD

foreclosedHomes.jpg
Via respres on Flickr
Days after three homeless people were arrested at a foreclosed home in south Minneapolis, Occupy Homes says four more arrests occurred this week for the same thing.

A mother and son were arrested for squatting in a foreclosed home near Penn Avenue North and Golden Valley Road, and two more were arrested at a home near Park Avenue South and 31st Street, Occupy Homes representatives say.

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Becky Dernbach, policy and communications coordinator for Occupy Homes, says the recent spate of arrests at foreclosed homes is "absolutely unprecedented" and argues the city is violating its own foreclosure protocol, which specifies that in order for the MPD to get involved in clearing a house, "the title owner/agent needs to do a citizen's arrest."

"The banks should be initiating the process. The police have to have reason to respond to something and they're supposed to have a call from the property owner," Dernbach says. "These houses are sitting empty and then police are arresting people for being in them. That makes no sense -- the city should be allowing people to have shelter."

Referring to the south Minneapolis incident where three homeless people were arrested for trespassing after a neighbor called 911 to report suspicious activity, Dernbach says, "I don't begrudge police for responding to a 911 call, but that doesn't mean trespassing is taking place."

Police "can't say it was trespassing if the owner hasn't reported trespassing," Dernbach adds.

In response to the most recent arrests, Occupy Homes presented the city with two demands -- a public meeting with Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau and city attorney Susan Segal, and the dismissal of all trespassing charges connected with the recent arrests.

Since the city hasn't been receptive to either request, Occupy Homes is planning "a demonstration to disrupt business as usual" on April 1 at 11 a.m.

"We will not tolerate the criminalization of homeless families or political repression," a release from Occupy Homes says. "If the city of Minneapolis would rather have people live in the streets than in unused bank-owned homes, we'll move into the streets.

(For more, click to page two.)



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31 comments
_Joe_
_Joe_

I love all the people here saying homeless people should just be allowed to squat in vacant houses.


What if it is your house that you are having trouble renting?  Your house that represents a substantial part of your retirement plan and monthly income when it's occupied.  You still think that anybody should just be able to walk in and start making whatever half-assed modifications they want?


Or better yet, how many homeless people did you have living with you in your own home this winter, huh?


Sure is easy to preach on the internet when it doesn't affect you and you don't actually have to do anything about it.


Post a picture of the family of four that you took in and setup in your dining room for the winter, and then I might start taking you seriously.

jason.carle
jason.carle

I am a pretty liberal guy but you can not break into and squat in foreclosed homes.  It is both illegal and stupid.

gynnady
gynnady

A lot of nastiness being written. Do you genuinely believe that the owner of an abandoned or foreclosed building should be granted primacy over the needs of cold, hungry, desperate people? Hint: the answer should be "no."

Kenny
Kenny

I just can't wrap my brain around the thought that it's ok to walk into someone else's house and live there without their permission.  These foreclosed homes are "winterized", meaning the water is shut off at the street, and the gas and electricity are shut off.  If they want to live like that I've got a shed out back they're welcome to.  But, they're going to have to pay rent.

mikeg25
mikeg25

I think the homeless people should be removed from these homes. They are going to live in these houses that likely have no water or electricity, and completly destroy them. They will deficate and urinate all over the house, use drugs, completly fill the house with trash, and sell things like the stove, fridge, dishwasher, doors, etc. Once they are done the house will be a trash heap. The cops are right for arresting them. I think they should be taken to a homeless shelter instead of a jail though.

Jim Bjerke
Jim Bjerke

A mother and her son are part of the entitlement crowd? Sounds like more of the trying to survive crowd.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

I get that some people fall on hard times. This is America, where there are literally hundreds of programs to help disadvantaged, injured, or mentally ill. I find it very sad that rather than working on a long term solution for homelessness some would rather just turn a blind eye to laws being broken and property damage being done. This will very quickly diminish the value of a home or neighboring properties if squatting is allowed. 


You need to lead a horse to their own water, not just sit there letting the horse drink from yours. 

Brian Mazur
Brian Mazur

The article refers to foreclosure protocol for clearing a house.

Chris Peden
Chris Peden

Stop drinking beer and smoking dope all day and get a job to pay for your own place.

Jodi Michelle
Jodi Michelle

I'd rather that people be safe and not in the cold. It's been a harsh winter and the shelters didn't have enough room. For whatever reason these folks don't have housing. Don't judge.

Jamie Cleven
Jamie Cleven

Maybe the banks can turn the foreclosed empty homes into shelters... Or is that too much wishful naive thinking? But seriously. Just because no one is living in a home, it doesn't mean that just anyone can live in a home.

Jeremy Weed
Jeremy Weed

Police "can't say it was trespassing if the owner hasn't reported trespassing,". So if I'm on vacation and someone decides to squat in my home without me knowing is not trespassing because I didn't report it? Is this person insane?

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

I like the occupy movement that is buying bad debt for pennies on the dollar and forgiving it because they are actually doing something constructive to solve a problem and putting their money where their mouths are. These local yahoos that think they have a right to occupy a home they never had claim to in the first place are just plain criminals and the police are treating them as such as they should.

Bartow Kilgo Jr.
Bartow Kilgo Jr.

Haha some peoples I tell you... I know this place isn't mine, and I know someone owns it, but I think I will just go in anyway because woe is me I made bad life decision now I can't get a job and the government owes me something

Colleen Ferguson
Colleen Ferguson

Here's a thought - stop breaking into homes - does more damage to the neighborhood to have squatters around!

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@_Joe_  these are bank owned homes aka wasted resources


i say 


LIVE IT UP

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

You can survive without breaking the law.

HanniKenny
HanniKenny

I hope you become homeless and someone feeds you that bullshit.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

Can you provide a list of laws that are ok to break when the winter is cold? I would really like to see this list. Its called Minnesota. Many of these homeless would not be here if we didn't have some of the most liberal policies on assistance. 

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

Would you want a homeless shelter right next to your home? Property values go down when adjacent properties turn into rentals...can you even imagine what would happen if shelters just went up in residential streets. Give me a break. 

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

100% agree. The funny thing is my mother has offered several homeless people jobs in the past decade at her bakery. None of them have accepted. Yes, some are mentally ill...but some find it profitable and convenient to be beggers and squatters. 

_Joe_
_Joe_

@digitalprotocol

The law doesn't give a shit who the owner is.  

Unless you really want to codify the differential treatment of banks over citizens into actual law.


That sounds like a great fucking idea.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

@HanniKenny  Stupid. I guess being homeless gives you the right to break the law. I was unemployed for 2 years and still kept my house and was able to cover day care. It's called saving and not spending $100 a month on a cell phone bill.

HanniKenny
HanniKenny

Your acting like homeless people are refugees from somewhere else.

MikeMpls
MikeMpls

@HanniKenny  And your mother should have aborted you and then had her uterus removed.

HanniKenny
HanniKenny

Not everyone starts off well enough to save and be unemployed for 2 years. You're clearly an ignorant fuck who should be beaten in the face with fists until you're unconscious. Then again once you wake up.

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