1,000 signatures reached
To: Commissioner Joan Garner
Keep 17 Families in Their Vine City Homes!
Keep Our Families in Vine City and Stop Fulton County Unethical Practices
Why is this important?
We are standing for 17 families comprised of single women and children with disabilities who participate in a Fulton County OETH Permanent Housing Program. Fulton County is forcing us to move our families immediately and succumb to persistent demoralizing and demeaning treatment by the Fulton County staff. The women involved in this program have physical or mental disabilities or their children have disabilities. Fulton County OETH is forcing us to move from our current homes to a location we didn’t agree on or we will be referred to a shelter and our belongings will be removed from our homes. We joined this program to recover from having been chronically homeless and the Fulton County OETH promised us the stability of living in a consistent location. We demand the permanent housing in Vine City and supportive services that we signed up for!
On April 23, 2014—despite the fact that we have been overcoming the emotional wear and tear of chronic homelessness, have woven ourselves into the fabric of the Vine City community, and have financially invested in this promise of permanent housing through Fulton County—we were informed that we would have to move abruptly. Fulton County said that all families would be moved by July 31, 2014 to an undisclosed location. No basic information that parents need when transitioning their families was given. While in a meeting with County Manager, Dwight Ferrell and Commissioner Joan Gardner, all of the mothers were told by the Division Manager, Mr. Leonard Westmoreland, that we “have no choice and no options.”
On June 6, 2014 under the direction of Mike Rowicki and Division Manager Leonard Westmoreland, the case-managers of Fulton County OETH were told to make their clients aware that they have selected a location and families will be required to vacate their homes by noon on June 20, 2014 or they will be transported to City of Refuge shelter (which is likely at capacity). We were told we could wait at the shelter and hope another program becomes available to house our families. The Fulton County permanent supportive housing program is aware that we have families with fragile medical conditions; however, despite our desperate pleas they are moving forward with terminating the utilities that power a 12 year-old child’s dialysis machine. The boy has had his kidneys removed. Moving him isn’t an option!
We are fighting to stay in Vine City, where our kids have excelled in their school, where we serve on the PTA, and where we have relationships with the community and necessary healthcare providers for our children. We need help and can’t fight alone! Please sign our petition to keep our homes and stop Fulton County’s unethical practices.
Below is a video of Fulton county staff intimidating women who were holding a peaceful protest outside the facility on the public sidewalk:
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