200 N. Chatham Ave. Siler City, NC 27344     919-742-1448

Month: March 2018

Yes, we can!

We are pleased to announce that the families of Johnson’s Mobile Home Park have reached an agreement with Mountaire Farms on Monday, March 26! Scroll down for ways to help the families and support the cause.

Mountaire agreed to compensate mobile home residents at $8,300 per unit, payable in installments.  The residents will have until July 31 to move out and don’t have to pay lot rent, amounting to $1,890 in savings for those who stay through July.

The families are very grateful for the show of solidarity from the community and relieved that this aspect of their situation is now resolved.

This agreement was only possible due to the residents’ resolve to organize and the outpour of public support. We commend Mountaire Farms for listening to the families’ concerns, and for doing the right thing by increasing the compensation offer from $5,000 to $8,300.

Jonas N., a single mother and homeowner at Johnson’s said, “I want to thank Mountaire for helping our families. I’m also grateful to everyone who showed their support, especially The Hispanic Liaison who encouraged and helped us to stand up for ourselves.”

Jorge L., a homeowner and father of four, said “We are very grateful to The Hispanic Liaison for helping us to come together as a community. By standing united, we were able to face a powerful corporation and reach an agreement for fair compensation for our families”.  

The Liaison started meeting with the residents in August 2017. From the beginning, the residents have been united and determined to advocate for fair compensation for their families. They faced this crisis together with dignity and courage making all decisions collectively about the negotiations and strategies. We are proud of their courage to face Mountaire, the media, the public and our elected officials; something none of them had done before.

The Liaison is continuing to help the families to complete the agreements to receive their compensation, open bank accounts, find housing and move by July 31.

Do you want to help the community? Here are some of the ways:

Donate to the cause we need your help to continue empowering the community to stand up for their rights and to assist these families to look for housing. We also welcome donations by check.

Let us know about affordable rentals, call us at 919-742-1448 ~ the families wish to stay in Siler City and need help finding places to live.

Sign up to volunteer  to help residents move out of their homes ~ there are elderly folks and single moms who don’t have access to trucks and need help to move their belongings.

Stay informed, sign up for our email list ~ learn about our plans to ensure that these and other low-income families have access to affordable and decent housing. We promise not to fill your inbox and never share your information with anyone.

Thank you to all who joined us and the families at the public meetings, spoke out on their behalf or helped in other ways. The residents were moved by your solidarity and grateful to know that they are not alone. We are very grateful to the NC Justice Center  for their partnership and on-going legal assistance.

Thank you! 

Mass eviction struggle continues in Siler City

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Check out the top story in the N&O this Sunday. The struggle continues for fair compensation and to secure housing for over 100 adults and children being evicted by Mountaire poultry plant.

Do you want to help with this community crisis? Here are some of the ways:

Donate to the cause  ~ we need your help to continue empowering the community to stand up for their rights.

Let us know about affordable rentals, call us at 919-742-1448 ~ the families wish to stay in Siler City and need help finding places to live.

Sign up to volunteer  to help residents move out of their homes ~ there are elderly folks and single moms who don’t have access to trucks and need help to move their belongings.

Stay informed, sign up for our email list ~ learn about our plans to ensure that these and other low-income families have access to affordable and decent housing. We promise not to fill your inbox and never share your information with anyone.

A big thank you to all who joined us and the families at the public meetings, spoke out on their behalf or helped in other ways. The residents were moved by your solidarity and grateful to know that they are not alone. We are very grateful to the NC Justice Center  for their partnership and on-going legal assistance.

Background:

The Hispanic Liaison has been meeting with Johnson’s residents since August of last year, when we discovered that Mountaire Farms was going to purchase Johnson’s mobile home park and evict the residents of the 28 mobile homes.

Most of the homeowners are Hispanic and have invested an average of $10,000 per family in the purchase and repairs. Unfortunately, the homes will not be able to be moved due to their age.

The Liaison has helped residents articulate their needs and engage with Mountaire Farms in negotiations for a fair and just compensation for their losses and moving expenses. The negotiations started in January at a meeting between the residents, the company, and the town and county managers.

In March, we reached an impasse over the financial compensation amount and the residents took their case to the town and county commissioners, who have extended millions of dollars in incentives and infrastructure support to the company. You can witness their testimonies in our Facebook page

The Liaison and the families are united in our resolve to reach an agreement with Mountaire. We have a verbal agreement that the residents will not pay lot rent as of November and can move out by July 31st, instead of the original May 7th eviction notice. We hope to resolve this impasse and reach an amicable agreement with Mountaire very soon.

 

 

 

Chicken plant evicting more than 100 residents

Join us in support of the residents on Monday, 3/19 at 6 PM at the Historic Courthouse
in Pittsboro ~ presentation to Chatham County Commmissioners.

Mountaire Farms is evicting more than 100 low-income adults and children from their homes at Johnson’s Mobile Home Park in Siler City to “make room” for their large poultry processing plant.

On March 5th, the residents held a press conference at Siler City Town Hall followed by a meeting with the Town Commissioners. The majority are Hispanic, this is their story.

CBS news coverage

Johnson’s is home to over 50 children and 60 adults; 24 of the children are enrolled in our local schools. The residents own their mobile homes and have invested an average of $10,000 per family in the purchase and repairs. Most were built in the 1970’s and cannot be moved to a new location. Now, the families must abandon their homes and find a place to live in the next few months.

 

Siler City and Chatham County signed agreements with Mountaire worth millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded incentives, property tax discounts and infrastructure support. These families have lived in Siler City and at Johnson’s for many years and are tax-payers too. Many of whom will be Mountaire’s future employees.

 

Through no fault of their own, families will go from being homeowners to facing homelessness, exacerbating and exposing the serious lack of affordable and decent housing in Siler City.

Last November, Mountaire purchased Johnson’s Mobile Home Park without offering any assistance to the residents for the loss of their homes, relocation expenses or the disruption in their lives. Instead, Mountaire sent residents an eviction notice to vacate the property by May 7th, as is required by law.

Mountaire’s Corporate Responsibility Pledge states that they “focus resources and efforts to help communities…including providing support…to individual and families in crisis situations”.

The families at Johnson’s Mobile Home Park are facing a crisis situation. Mountaire is causing these families extreme emotional distress and undue financial hardships. Their hardships are already reverberating throughout local government agencies, social services, non-profits, schools and health care providers.

In January, we were finally able to bring Mountaire to the table to speak with the families. At the meeting, residents shared their concerns and asked for a legitimate and just financial compensation for their losses. The company’s representative pledged to “do the right thing for these families” because Mountaire “wants to be a good neighbor for Siler City and Chatham County”.

For the past 7 weeks, we have engaged in good faith negotiations with Mountaire. We were closer to an agreement when we reached an impasse that has yet to be resolved.

The residents also asked the town and county for a list of available rental properties in Siler City. The list we received confirms the severe lack of affordable housing, which means that these families could face homelessness, overcrowding, or having to move out of the city and county where they have built their lives and contributed to its economic growth and prosperity.

 

We urge Mountaire to keep their promise to “do the right thing for these families”. We also urge the town and county address the serious lack of affordable and decent housing in Siler City.   

Thank you Siler City Rotary Club!

A huge thanks to the Rotary Club of Siler City for their generous $2,500 donation for our Orgullo Latinx Pride Youth Program! This is our first grant from the local Rotary Club.

We are grateful for their leadership in the community and for helping so many non-profits in Siler City.

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