Housing is a Human Right petition

Philadelphia City Council, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development

These are kids of a family in a "takeover house" in Philadelphia. On Dec 30, the Department of Housing & Urban Development threatened to kick this family out on the streets in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of winter.

We urge you to sign this petition to HUD and Philly City Council (language of petition is below).

Simply put, we are tired of politicians telling us there is no way to fix homelessness. Every incoming local or national administration seems to have a multi-year plan to end homelessness and poverty, but it is never accomplished. We need to stand up as a people and take back the basic necessities of life. We live in a world of abundance, it's just not shared fairly. Poor and working people should have a right to live and live well. They should have a right to food, clothes, and housing, especially in a nation with so much wealth and abundance.

Poor People's Army has 30+ Takeover Houses across Philadelphia, and has participated in housing takeovers for 3 decades from Coast to Coast, from New Orleans to Minnesota.

We believe in the politics of love. Join us in sending a message to authorities that families should not be put on the street, let alone in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of winter.

#PoorPeoplesArmy #LivesOverLuxury


- CHERI HONKALA, Poor People's Army, Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign

- NADERA HOOD, Occupy PHA, Philadelphia Housing Action

- PASTOR KEITH COLLINS, Church of the Overcomer

- MARGARET FLOWERS, Popular Resistance

- SISTER MARGARET MCKENNA, New Jerusalem Laura

- DARYLE LAMONT JENKINS, One People's Project

- RICHARD CUCARESE, USW Local 4889, Rapid Response Coordinator

- RICHARD HOOKER, JR. Teamsters Local 623

Petition by
Cheri Honkala
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

To: Philadelphia City Council, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
From: [Your Name]

In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic and another Great Depression for poor and working people, our local, state, and federal governments should be doing everything they can to safely and permanently house all people in the U.S.

A recent Census report said that 35% of Americans could lose their home in the next 2 months.

Abandoned houses should be used to house homeless people, period.

There are 10 abandoned properties for every 1 homeless person in Philly, according to geography researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Many of these homes are government-owned property.

Men, women, and children in takeover houses, and Poor People's Army and other groups who take over abandoned properties to keep people alive, should not be targeted for persecution or prosecution. They are not criminals. They are brave leaders enforcing a higher law of human rights enshrined in the International Declaration of Human Rights.

It is homelessness itself that should be outlawed. We demand a zero tolerance policy for homelessness in a country with so much wealth.