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  • Writer's pictureChristina Kimbrough

Grassroots Organization Works to Stop Evictions

Eviction rates in Hampton Roads are among the highest in the country, and things have only gotten worse due to COVID.

Local grassroots organization 757 Eviction Prevention is working to remedy this problem through fundraising. 757EP is “a black- led grassroots organization working to materially support our black community members during the ongoing housing and rent crisis.”

“The pandemic has only exacerbated in underserved communities. Black folks are disproportionately impacted by this virus in terms of contraction, deaths, and eviction,” said organizer Lafeetah Byrum.

The organization started in June 2020. “We came together to fill the gaps between government aid for our local housing crisis and Black community members with no access to it,” said Byrum.

She and some others had already been working on the ground to help 4,200 others losing their homes from the central downtown area in favor of mixed income housing. When the pandemic hit Byrum

said she was aware of 141 families facing eviction. Initially some of the families didn’t lose their housing because of a state and federal moratorium.

Over the last several months the organization has been able to raise almost $10,000 that all goes directly to help families in need. “A lot of families are one crisis away from eviction,” said Byrum.

Beyond preventing eviction one of the things 757EP aims to do is get white people to use their privilege in a real way. “We really want to get majority white and adjacent communities involved and to use their privilege in a tangible way.”

To date 757EP has been able to help 4 families. They’ve helped families avoid eviction, and pay off back rent. Their goal is to raise $50,000. There are four tiers of giving that range from $500-$5000, and all donations help with things such as rent, utilities, and debt. To learn more or give click here.

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