If you’ve never lived somewhere you see many evictions, I think it’s important people see for themselves what it looks like when a family has no place to go and is forced to leave their entire collective home and life on the curb.
During the 2020 pandemic, the US Congress passed a moratorium on evictions in the United States which expired at the end of July. Despite efforts by protesters to disrupt and even block the entrances to these court proceedings the first week of August, many landlords were able to get through.
I do not say this to pit tenants against landlords. I do not want people to start thinking of landlords as all one type of person. Many are highly leveraged (loans). Many owners simply decided to buy a rental house on a second mortgage at some point because rates were low at the time or the opportunity was perfect. They are not all “the man, the NWO, the bad guy, the 1%”. Landlords are people. They’re good. They’re bad. Some better. Some worse. Rarely perfect.
The same way the US Senate, with Mitch in the lead, left for a damned recess without caring for the needs of the US people facing eviction, they also did absolutely nothing to stop foreclosures for property owners who are now losing their family retirement supplement plan.We’re all in this absurd mess together, though it rarely feels it. By all means I do not say any of this to suggest that you not protest or try to block the courts. I think a Judge sleeping in or having a tummy ache would do a world of good, for that matter.
I took the following photos on August 11th in Kansas City (KC) which is one of the most inexpensive cities with regard to housing cost in the entire US. One week of the eviction courts being open, and devastation was able to spread in a neighborhood in one of the most affordable US cities that does not have major job issues the likes of which other cities have seen. Just the usual pandemic layoff crisis. In total I counted 9 homes who had evictions or death of owner curbside life stories and another 3+ families in process of moving all within the same small neighborhood.
A simple layoff is what a neighbor told me happened to the family I’d like to highlight here. The neighbor walked out as I was taking pictures and I was slightly alarmed for safety because he was wearing a Punisher shirt which Qanon has turned into the similar Nazi skulls from the 30’s and 40’s in re-branding it for themselves. But the look on his face made me drop my guard as I spoke to him.
“Hi, not doing anything weird. Wanted to document what’s happening to people,” I said to him.
He looked at the ground when he responded. “They were nice. A nice Hispanic family. Young kids. They piled everything neatly when they left it so that people could take what they needed from their belongings. I guess they couldn’t take anything. But just know this mess all over the street wasn’t them. It was the crackheads who came through the past couple nights,” he said to me, resigned, getting into his car and shaking his head.
I felt bad for judging him. I felt his sadness for them. I was incredibly touched by the humanity in him wanting to make it clear they were good people who didn’t even make a mess when they were evicted and had to leave their lives on the curb. So dear America, if this is this bad after one week in an incredibly liveable city, I’m seriously afraid for what has occurred this week in your cities. Please get out and talk to people. Wear your masks. Social distance. But talk to your neighbors.
This is the face of a life on the curb. Four lives, technically. Two kids, a mom, a dad, a two story home. This is the American dream tossed on the curb because of the inability of our two party system to just do the right damned thing and uphold their Oaths of Office.
A little girl’s Barbie car. Their son’s little sitting chair for the living room. The mom’s shoes. All of their beds. Then I found their pet. They’d left all the food they had out for the cat, and water. Homeless shelters don’t take pets. I’m not going to judge them for not taking the cat to a shelter. Trying to catch her/him. Put out more food. Will check. Did it just look like a trash heap to you at first? If so. Slow down. Because their loved pet is sitting confused in the remains of their life.
Finishing with more photos. And some of a very similar family 2 blocks away that broke my heart. When our elected officials, regarless of party, do not fight for us the way we would fight for this family to have a roof over their head? They’re not fucking serving our interests anymore. I’m sad. I’m tired. Most of all, I’m fucking angry. You should be too. I’ll be speed dialing Congress and screaming at them the next few days. I’ll be spamming them on social. I hope you do your own version of yelling too. They can act like adults or Mitch can get impeached and the Dems can get a fucking backbone and call for it. Do no harm by doing nothing is NOT a strategy in a crisis.
This is a life on the curb. This is many lives on the curb. They paid taxes. They worked. They mowed their lawns. They did the right things. And when the time came for America to do the right thing? Our Congress went home for recess.
This is the start of the destruction of a neighborhood finally coming back to life.
A poignant note. They left their election signs in their yard. Who the hell have we put in office to not care? WHERE IS MR SMITH? I’d have chained myself to the damned podium by now.