[Hpn] ALERT: 7 KWRU Members ARRESTED At Housing Protest In Philadelphia PA USA fw PA USA fw

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Fri, 1 Dec 2000 05:25:00 -0800 (PST)


FWD - November 30, 2000 - Philadelphia PA USA

REPLY TO: "Kensington Welfare Rights Union" <KWRU@libertynet.org>


SEVEN ARRESTED DURING AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROTEST

Cheri Honkala and six other members of the Kensington
Welfare Rights Union, including formerly homeless mothers
and social workers, were arrested after moving homeless
families into the Philadelphia Convention Center this
morning.

Philadelphia:  This morning at 9 am, members of the
Kensington Welfare Rights Union moved homeless families into
the Philadelphia Convention Center.  The KWRU demanded that
these homeless families be given vouchers for a warm, safe
place to stay together during the holiday season and to help
the families secure affordable housing.  Currently, the
seven families are staying in abandoned HUD homes that they
and the KWRU "Took Over" on Thanksgiving Day.

The City of Philadelphia refused to meet the demands of
these homeless families, and after a four hours of
surveillance and a standoff with the police, the 7 members
of the KWRU refused to leave the Philadelphia Convention
Center and were arrested.  They currently are police custody
now.

When asked why the KWRU refused to leave the building and go
meet with the Office of Emergency Social Services to see if
the families qualified for any city services, Cheri Honkala,
the Executive Director of the KWRU replied, "The magic word
here is qualified.  The City will get us out of the
Convention Center and then find a hundred reasons why these
families do not qualify for affordable housing."

She went onto say, "one of our families is family where both
parents are working full time and they still cannot make
first and last months rent.  They are not eligible for ANY
city affordable housing programs because they both work.  We
believe that all homeless people should qualify for
affordable housing for the simple reason that they are
homeless."

"We vow to continue to fight until all seven of these
families have a home for the holidays" Honkala concluded.

If you would like a statement from KWRU's leadership or if
you would like to interview Cheri Honkala when she is
released.  Please contact James Pfluecke at 215-768-3117.


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CONTACT INFO:

Kensington Welfare Rights Union
NUHHCE, ASFCME, AFL-CIO
PO Box 50678
Philadelphia, PA 19132-9720
Phone: 215/203-1945
Fax:   215/203-1950
email: kwru@libertynet.org
web:   http://www.kwru.org

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