AVENTURA (CBS4) – As the sun set Wednesday night, 84-year-old Adline Pierre held her granddaughter, fighting tears. A young man is bent down next to her trying to comfort her. “We are here to make sure you don’t end up in the street,” Hashim Benford told her.
Pierre has no idea who he is or the other dozen people standing in front of her are. They amassed here as news spread her family was about to be evicted for their home.
Benford is one of a handful of activists from the Miami Workers Center who began an email blitz upon learning about the eviction set for 5 p.m.
Whitney Maxey hadn’t met the family until Wednesday.
“No one needs to be kicked out of their home and that’s all we need to know.” Maxey told CBS4’s David Sutta.
The bank is foreclosing on Pierre’s home of 20 years, because her daughter Dean Senecharles could no longer pay the mortgage.
“It’s not that easy when you lose your job and you are already paycheck to paycheck trying to survive,” Senecharles explained. “It’s not that easy for you to judge me.”
Tuesday night they received an eviction notice to be out by five. And so strangers took up their yard planning to form a human blockade.
“We literally put people in front of the front door, where the sheriff is trying to walk in to evict the family. And we just block their way,” said Maxey. “You have people who are on the front row who are OK with being arrested.”
This tactic, tested on Angie Samuels home in January, sent the cops and the eviction away for now.
“I’m still in my home. Still fighting. Still fighting until the end,” Samuels said.
She said she is fighting mortgage fraud but is willing to stand with any homeowner facing eviction. This group of activist has learned the only way to get something done these days is to stand in the way of what’s happening.
Emma Latson was in the crowd forming the blockade, because the issue hits close to home, literally.
“What’s happening here today is the same thing that is getting ready to happen to me and my 10 year old daughter. We are getting ready to be evicted out of home.” Latson said.
As the sun set the cops never came. The family felt relief even if for just one more evening they have a roof over their head. Senecharles turned to the group and said, “I appreciate all of you coming… strangers. God Bless you.” A woman replied “We are not strangers. We are family.”
The family has filed for an injunction in hopes of stopping the foreclosure.