Reporting Aristea Brady
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A historical bus tour is rolling through the Twin Cities Saturday.
The “Housing is a Human Right” bus tour is an event that mimics the Freedom Riders – a group of Civil Rights activists who bused to the South during the 60s.
A big yellow school bus is packed with people who are pushing for affordable housing.
Unlike the Freedom Riders, these advocates are trying to bring attention to a different kind of civil rights – justice for the housing crisis.
According to Housing Link, there were more than 9,500 foreclosures in Minnesota in the first two quarters of 2012. Community activist Mel Reeves says those under foreclosure should not be stigmatized.
“Let’s not put shame on people who are losing their homes because a financial institution’s not being accountable,” Reeves said. “Let’s make this very clear that people are working hard and are paying their bills.”
The first stop on the tour was the Shir Tikvah Congregation in Minneapolis. They broke bread and prayed. Congressman Keith Ellison was also part of the movement.
“It’s about raising public opinion, reaching out to diverse communities,” Ellison said.
He says the housing crisis is a problem for everyone.
“It’s massive, it’s massive. It affects not just peoples’ direct homes, but it affects people who have not been in foreclosure because it lowers your housing prices if you own a home and have never missed a payment,” he said.
Rose McGee knows firsthand what it’s like to have your home foreclosed on, and she wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.
“It’s something that I believe every human being in this country, in this society, is entitled to. And that has to do with just having fair housing,” McGee said.