We have an update on a group of homeless moms in Oakland, who took a stand against a house-flipping company by taking over one of their vacant homes.
That group, known as Moms 4 Housing ultimately managed to work out a deal with an Oakland land trust, with plans to turn the house into a transitionary home for other homeless mothers.
During the pandemic, the house got a much-needed face lift and NBC Bay Area got a first look inside.
More on 'The Moms of Magnolia Street'
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It's been three years in the making for Carroll Fife and Dominque Walker.
Back in 2019, Fife was a community organizer with a big idea. What would happen if three homeless moms and their kids broke the law and occupied an empty house in West Oakland owned by a real estate investment company known for flipping homes?
“I remember I said, Look, y'all, I don't have any homes. I don't have any networks of people who can rent to y'all. I don't have anything. But if you trust me at the end of this, you'll have a place to stay,” said Oakland City Councilmember Carroll Fife.
The idea gave birth to a movement known as “Moms 4 Housing.” Hundreds rallied behind the moms, when the threat of eviction grew louder and louder by the day.
Deputies eventually showed up to evict the moms. - but the homeowner - Wedgewood Inc. agreed to sell the home to the Oakland Community Land Trust. Then came the pandemic. But the work never stopped. Community organizer Carroll Fife became Oakland City Councilmember Fife and Dominique Walker now sits on Berkeley’s Rent Board. And the home will soon have new residents.
“The plan right now is to give formerly unsheltered moms an opportunity to have a space where they can just relax because homelessness is traumatizing. And to rebuild their lives,” Fife said.
One of the new residents is Bry’Ana, a mom to a toddler and currently studying to join the construction industry.
“So in order to make sure that our new mom had very little to do, we went out and got some pieces that we thought were essential to get her off to a new start,” Fife said.
What’s next for the movement? The moms said they want to expand – buy more vacant homes and give more unhoused families a chance to rebuild their lives.