Homeless mothers with & # 39; Moms 4 Housing & # 39; from Oakland were forcibly evicted from an empty house they were occupying

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Alameda County Sheriff's Delegates used a court order to remove the mothers, who belonged to Oakland's "Moms 4 Housing" group around 5 am Tuesday. Two mothers were arrested.

Dominique Walker, a group member and spokeswoman, told CNN that there were no children at home during the forced eviction.

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The group "Moms 4 Housing" has occupied the vacant house on Magnolia Street since November 18. The group is a "collective of homeless and safe mothers organizing to recover empty homes of real estate speculators," according to the website.

The rise of chronic homeless and homeless across the west coast has led to a 2.7% increase across the country and a "compensated" decline in the condition in 29 states and Washington DC, the agency said.

Alameda County deputies who responded Tuesday to the "Moms 4 Housing" residence arrested three people, including the two mothers, indoors, Alameda County Sheriff's public information officer Ray Kelly told a news conference at the Tuesday morning.

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Oakland residents, Misty Cross, 38, Tolani King, 36, and Jesse Turner, 25, will face misdemeanor charges for resisting and obstructing the eviction process, according to Kelly. A fourth person who arrived after the eviction was also arrested.

"We see what happened today as the beginning of a movement," Walker told CNN. "This is a housing movement for everyone."

A long battle for a place to call home

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The Magnolia Street house, which Walker said was empty for more than two years, belonged to Wedgewood Inc., which began the eviction process shortly after the group moved.

"Wedgewood is pleased that the illegal occupation of his home in Oakland has ended peacefully," Wedgewood spokesman Sam Singer told CNN.

"This is what the company has been looking for from the start. We will now work with a nonprofit, Shelter 37, to renovate the home, giving opportunities to at-risk youth in Oakland and sharing profits with the nonprofit so other young people can benefit ".

Helping homeless students on holidays and beyond

Walker, a single mother who works with two children, was homeless before moving to the empty house. She and another mother of two lived in the empty house before being forcibly evicted.

"It shows the sheer evil of speculators," Walker said in response to Wedgewood's statement. "That's why we want them outside our community. They have no respect for communities, respect for humanity, only respect for profit and greed. This house means nothing to them."

Walker said the group of mothers even offered to buy the empty house for the price Wedgewood paid for it, but the offer was rejected.

Moms 4 Housing spokeswoman initially filed a tenure claim at the Alameda County High Court on December 17. She was being represented by lawyers from Brunner & Mehta and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.

"The data shows that there are four empty houses in Oakland for each of the homeless in the city," the statement said. "Mrs. Walker and her children began to occupy and continue to occupy the premises to fulfill their right to housing."

His lawyers argued that Walker had the right to live in a house that "has been vacant for years," according to the allegation.

On Friday, the court denied the request and gave the sheriff's office five days to evict the mothers, MNNA Clatterbaugh, associate lawyer for Siegel, Yee, Brunner and Mehta, told CNN.

"The court recognizes the importance of these issues, but as raised in connection with Walker's claim to tenure, finds that they are outside the scope of this process," Alameda County Court Judge Patrick McKinney said in a statement. final decision.

The fight goes on

The night before the eviction, more than 300 people gathered outside the house to support their mothers, Walker told CNN.

While most of the group returned home at midnight, people returned immediately the moment the eviction began.

"People were singing, holding hands, locking their arms," ​​Walker said. "They told us they loved and appreciated us. It gives us the strength to continue. We know what we are doing is important, and the community knows it, and they came to us."

Once devastated by crack and alcohol, it pays homeless people thousands of times

Despite community support, Walker said the situation was "extremely traumatic." The single mom was in the middle of a "Democracy Now!" interview with Amy Goodman when they were told live on set that "sheriffs were breaking into the house".

After returning home immediately, Walker found that mothers and supporters of the movement had already been arrested. The group said it told delegates they would not resist arrest and would practice "non-violent civil disobedience."

Kelly said there was a concern about police security at the entrance, based on inside information. When they arrived, the front and back doors were barricaded, he said. After using force, they entered the house, where residents obeyed and asked to be peacefully arrested.

The effort has cost the department "tens of thousands" of dollars, and the sheriff's office is considering sending the bill to Wedgewood Properties, according to Kelly.

"Everyone is realizing it doesn't have to be that way," Walker said. "We are losing our humanity when we normalize and raise our children in a society where it is normal to see our mothers, children and our people on the street."

CNN's Jenn Selva contributed to this report.

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