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|Same-sex couple 'occupies' foreclosed Atlanta home|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|December 07, 2012 09:10|
A female couple and their two children are now "occupying" a foreclosed home in Atlanta's Pittsburgh neighborhood with the support of the home's former owners.
Reneka Wheeler and Michelene Meusa have two children and had been homeless since summer, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, which grew out of last year's "Occupy" movement, helped the family move into the vacant house yesterday.
“We’re taking one back from the bank," Meusa told the AJC.
M&T Bank owns the house and told the AJC they are looking into the case. Occupy leader Tim Franzen said supporters will stay with the couple for the first few days and they plan to keep them in the home.
“It’s a risky act of civil disobedience,” he told the AJC.
Occupy has launched a petition here to urge M&T to turn over the house to a nonprofit to determine its use.
In a press release, Occupy Our Homes described the action as a move to "liberate" the home and decried a world where "homes remain vacant while neighbors sleep on the street."
The group marched with the couple from Pittman Park to the home. In its press release before the action, Occupy alleged that Wheeler and Meusa had also faced bias in homeless shelters for being lesbian.
Occupy is ramping up its activism by moving people into a foreclosed home that they did not previously own. The group has also worked to help people reclaim homes, churches and other property lost to foreclosure, including a lesbian couple last year.
From the press release:
A same sex couple that has spent months bouncing between shelters with their two children, at times refused services because of their sexual orientation, will be enforcing their moral right to a home by moving into and repairing a vacant one in a neighborhood where more homes sit empty than occupied. This is an act of civil disobedience that has support from surrounding residents, churches, and Fulton County District 5 Commissioner Emma Darnell.
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