Help Me "Squat" My House, Snatched by Intentional Community
What happens when a nonprofit corporation decides it wants to change its mission but poverty-level old people have built homes on the corporation's land, in accordance with its original mission? The corporation evicts the old people — without compensating them for their houses.
And totally gets away with it!
This is what happened to me and my ex-husband Rick, a wrong done to us by an intentional community in Tennessee run by a nonprofit called Rocinante. I lived there and Rick built a house there, and he gave me half-ownership of the house. Rocinante took the house and refused to reimburse Rick or me.
Simultaneously Help Un-Yoke Me from the Friend I've Been Divorced from for 25 Years
Due to the poverty caused by Rick being deprived of the house he built, Rick and I have since been yoked together. We are friends, but we have been divorced for 25 years. Both of us have had to live on my social security disability income for two years now, and we both need our independent lives back, and a relief from dire poverty.
Rick has been experiencing TIAs (ministrokes) from hypertension and is not able to work. I am on disability for multiple sclerosis. We are currently living in Mexico in an attempt to be able to afford to exist.
I Need to Get to Tennessee to Claim My House
The intentional community is counting on our poverty to keep us from getting our house back. The fact that we are not on site, in Tennessee, could allow our rights to expire, and allows our plight to be completely ignored. Rick is too sick to undertake this project right now, but I need to be there, on site, in the house, in their face, in the media, insisting on justice.
I say, Either let us live in our house, or pay us for it! It's not okay to just steal it.
While Rocinante is no longer the community that Rick and I signed up for — considering the nonprofit dissolved the community, and has treated us disgracefully —Rick built the house, it is paid for, and we need a place we can afford to live.
Alternatively, the house is easily worth $25,000, and those who took the house should pay us for it.
What I'm Proposing to Do
After two years of trying to talk to the nonprofit and getting no response, I am ready to go "squat" in Rick's and my house until justice is done — in the middle of the nonprofit's antagonism, in spite of those who say I can't, in the winter, in the middle of the woods, and next door to the nonprofit's property manager — a Brazilian street-fighting champion.
While I'm there, I intend to also get justice for my other, elderly neighbor, who was evicted by that street-fighting champ last Christmas Eve.
I intend to be a constant reminder to the wrongdoers, telling the truth and demanding justice. I intend to visit senators and representatives and county officials. I intend to involve media in a big and ongoing way. Some of you will be seeing me on TV, and you will be reading about me on the internet. If you read the detailed story (www.fukushimafaq.info/rocinante), you'll see that some rather famous counterculture heroes are at the heart of this house-grabbing. You will see there is quite an amazing story here.
I intend to achieve: 1) Secure the rights to Rick's and my house so we can live there, rent it out, or sell it; or 2) Be compensated $25,000 for it — and my evicted elderly neighbor gets compensated $10,000 for the house he built.
What I Need
All my current income (social security disability) is used to support Rick's and my Mexico household. My savings are gone.
I need money to travel from Mexico to Tennessee. I can take a bus for about $450 (36 hours, with a cheap motel somewhere en route). (Flying would cost around $700 by the time shuttles on both ends are figured in, so I intend to take the bus.) I would like to leave in early January, or as soon as I can.
I need money to get moved into the house, and a reserve for backup lodging should I not immediately be able to get into the house. I will need to get the electricity turned on in the house, which will require a deposit. I may need to buy a heater and a couch or bed to sleep on. I may need a locksmith. My water pipes may be frozen.
I need money to exist (eat, for instance) while I work hard every day to raise awareness of the situation and achieve a fast, fair solution.
I do not have a laptop, but I will need phone and internet access, in the middle of the woods. An inexpensive smartphone should be able to keep me in touch with the media and provide internet/email access.
I no longer have a car and will need to sometimes pay local people to drive me places. Ideally, I could afford to rent someone's extra clunker. I will need to buy a coat at Goodwill.
I figure $1950 will get me there, get me set up (including utility deposit and phone), pay indiegogo commission, and meet barebones necessary expenses to keep me alive and productive for two months, with a small reserve. By the end of that time, I intend that the house will have been restored to me and Rick, or we will have been reimbursed for the house.
In a non-monetary vein, it might be helpful to have a couple of additional hardy, high-quality squatters with me to swell the ranks.
A Call for Justice
As you can see from the detailed story (www.fukushimafaq.info/rocinante), I spent many years doing volunteer work for the very people — my fellow members on the board of directors! — who then turned around and took Rick's and my house away. These people were supposed to be highly spiritually evolved, but when it came right down to it, their countercultural, nonprofit corporation was just as greedy and amoral, and their functioning just as self-serving, as any corporation anywhere.
I don't want them to get away with it. I want justice.
Anything you can do to help — and to help get the word out — will work to affirm rightness in the world. Please read the detailed story at www.fukushimafaq.info/rocinante. Old people should not be evicted from the homes they built for themselves — and without a penny of compensation!