Rosemary Williams, the Minneapolis woman whose public fight to save her foreclosed home ended last month, will travel to Washington, D.C. Sunday to protest evictions.
Williams will be joined by Ann Patterson, Barbara Byrd, and Linda Norenberg, three Twin Cities residents fighting foreclosure, along with two local organizers from the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign.
The visit coincides with World Habitat Day, a date designated by the United Nations to "reflect on the state of human settlements and the basic right to adequate shelter for all," according to a statement released by HUD.
The women plan to attend the World Habitat Day celebration at the National Building Museum on Monday.
"PPEHRC style is to enter the event and to make ourselves heard somehow without being obnoxious and getting ourselves thrown out," said organizer Lynette Malles. "We'll make it clear that housing is a human right."
Malles said the group will also ask to meet with senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken to advocate for a moratorium on foreclosures.
Ann Patterson, of Minneapolis, said she hopes to speak at Monday's event about her own efforts to resist foreclosure.
Patterson fell behind on her mortgage payments two months ago, after taking out an adjustable-rate mortgage when her husband lost his job last year. Her monthly mortgage payments increased from $400 to $1,200, she said.
"I kick myself all the time for what we did," Patterson said, speaking about the decision to obtain an ARM. "But I never in a million years expected that a man who's worked all his life would have trouble finding a job."
Patterson has worked as a medical aide at Abbott Northwestern Hospital for 19 years. Although her husband recently found a job, his hours have already been cut due to the economic recession, she said.
"I spend a couple of hours every day juggling bills," she said. "I'm just pretty creative." The family has five children and lives on about $2,300 a month.
Patterson said she is waiting to hear back from Wells Fargo about a loan modification. She said she wants to "make it known" that homeowners struggle to successfully renegotiate their mortgages.
Williams did not return calls for comment. Malles said Williams has been living with friends after her former home was boarded up on Sept. 11. Williams' months-long refusal to leave her home attracted widespread attention and led to the arrest of seven supporters.
The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign provided funding to cover the trip's expenses. The group plans to return on Tuesday.