Equal Equity


cayley - Posted on 01 November 2010

What Homefulness Means to Me

 

When I think of the word “Homefulness” an idea model created in 1997 by my mentor, co-founder of POOR Magazine/PNN, “Tiny” Lisa Gray-Garcia, only two words come to my mind: Equal Equity. Living in “affordable housing” via a Single Room Occupancy Hotel for the past five years, I've come to the revelation that in order for one to actually have peace of mind, one needs an affordable, stabilized home...........as opposed to a room with a roof.

To have “peace of mind from those who would threaten my safety in the sanctity of the little room I call my home. Not to have twelve po-lice officers illegally come into the little room I call “home” ready to kill me; and/or have my “landlord” fail to protect my safety as its tenant. This was what I went through on October 7th, 2005.

“Peace of mind” is not just a reality for me, but for all poor families that struggle to even get a bed in homeless shelters. The freedom to be collective as a community, and to share everything denied from us courtesy of non-profits financed by governments, and governments who’re financed by greedy land developers.

A lifetime of struggle for me, and my family in Cleveland, Ohio is a testament to that effect. No matter how much I worked, we lived on fixed incomes for our entire lives. Though my mom managed to get an actual house for me, my two brothers, and my sister, she never truly owned it. Capitalism was killing it everyday, and eight years later, it died leading to their displacement.

I came here to San Francisco to get from one capitalism system only to face another. My mom had to rent an apartment, was in a shelter for a while until she was able to get back to that apartment space with the very limited amount of income sadly she receives each month to house my little brother and sister.

For me, and for all poor communities around me, “Homefulness” is the freedom from being undivided and categorized from all forms of institutionalized race and class control. To be apart of and not being in an apartment.

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