The last week we've been frantically working with Tacco Cullens, single mother of 11. As of Saturday June 30th Tacco and her children were forced to leave the substandard home they had rented buy a scam artist that did not in fact own the home. Why was the home substandard? Because the fake landlord refused to fix the house.
Since the 30th there have been two tasks that the family and others have been trying to accomplish. While we all have been organizing a patchwork of suitable places for the family to stay, we've also been trying to find a long term solution to their housing.
One two separate occasions in the last week the family was literally on the verge of having nowhere to sleep. If it weren't for "Able" Mable Thomas and Atlanta Travelers Aid Tacco and her family could have already ended up on the street.
Progress has been made. In the last week more and more people are coming out of the woodwork to offer help. We've had several leads on a house, though none have panned out yet.
Today we launched a weekly lunch and learn at Pittsburgh Resurrection designed to provide space for the family to learn alternative career paths, budgeting, how to organize their community, how to identify root causes of the problems in their lives, and urban gardening. The lunch and learns are also an opportunity to enjoy a good cooked meal, and for the younger children to engage in fun educational activities.
After today's lunch and learn we took the whole family to Antioch Baptist Church for a meeting with Rainbow PUSH southeastern president Joe Beasley. Mr. Beasley not only took the time to meet with each of the children and make sure they went home with boxes of food, we also spent about an hour putting pressure on the Atlanta Housing Authority to help this family through their crisis.
What are we looking for and how can you help?
The family is looking for a 4-6 bedroom house that's cheap and available for rent. They would of course would need the owner to understand and be cool with the fact that this family is very big. They would prefer something that isn't to far from the Pittsburgh(as in South ATL) . We are also open to helping them buy a cheap abandoned home and help them fix it up, but that would need to happen really soon and time is running out. Atlanta Travelers Aid is currently paying for the family to have a few efficiency rooms downtown, but their last day there is July 18th, so that's the deadline we're working with.
There will be a benefit dinner this Saturday in the Pittsburgh Community at 6:30pm. The cost is $5 to $20 for a three course meal, people are encouraged to pay what you can. Below is a link to the event.
You can also give directly and safely here:
Donate To Tacco Cullins
American Friends Service Committee