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Homeless Moms Squatting in Vacant House Aren’t Going Without a Fight: ‘They Got to Take Me’

The homeless mothers fighting to occupy a vacant, investor-owned home in Oakland just lost their court battle. Now the women and their children face immediate eviction from the residence they’ve been living in since November. But activists say they’ll guard the house until the mothers are physically removed. And the moms promise that if they’re…

Homeless Moms Squatting in Vacant House Aren’t Going Without a Fight: ‘They Got to Take Me’

The homeless mothers fighting to occupy a vacant, investor-owned home in Oakland just lost their court battle. Now the women and their children face immediate eviction from the residence they’ve been living in since November.

But activists say they’ll guard the house until the mothers are physically removed. And the moms promise that if they’re leaving, they’re leaving in handcuffs.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Patrick McKinney ruled Friday that the women didn’t have a legal claim to the three-bedroom home, which is owned by Wedgewood Properties, a company that buys and flips distressed homes. The current residents of the home include Dominique Walker, a 34-year-old mother of 1- and 5-year-old girls who became homeless while working full-time; Sameerah Karim a 41-year-old who works three jobs and is still unable to afford housing; and two other mothers who remain unnamed.

READ: A homeless man got himself arrested just so he’d have a warm place to sleep.

Walker, who challenged the eviction on the basis that there should be a human right to housing, was ordered to immediately leave the property Friday, while the other women will be evicted within five days, according to KQED. The women have said since November that their ultimate hope is that Wedgewood will come to the table and make a deal to sell the property.

“I’m not leaving, we’re not leaving,” Walker said during a press conference in front of the house Friday. “They got to take me.”

The moms knew this was coming, Walker noted. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office previously threatened to evict the women, who as a group call themselves Moms4Housing, last month, and McKinney tentatively ruled in favor of Wedgewood. But Moms4Housing argued they’re unable to find affordable housing anywhere else in the Bay Area, despite working multiple jobs, and would be left on the streets if evicted.

They recently spent the holidays in the Oakland home — Christmas tree and all.

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And despite their occupation of the home being illegal, the mothers have even won support from local legislators desperate for any way to house the city’s 4,071 homeless people. Oakland councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas stood with the women Friday.

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