As the Wayne County Tax Auction enters its final weeks, a new mural on Van Dyke Street reminds us of what could be at stake for homeowners. Painted by Ellen Rutt, Ouizi, and Jonny Alexander, the mural announces that "This is a Home" and tells us "Do not bid!"
The mural was the centerpiece of a fundraiser for the Tricycle Collective, who raises money to help out families facing foreclosure. The Tricycle Collective gives $500 to families whose home is up on the auction block so they can bid to stay there. The group recently raised over $25,000 to assist families this year. According to their site,
"The home with the mural on it is currently vacant, it was in mortgage foreclosure, then fell into speculator’s hands, then went to tax foreclosure, and is now owned by Nfr and her family, whose home is next door (the one we helped buy in auction in 2014). This place is a beautiful example of what stability can do for a family and of why it helps us all to help people stay in their homes."
According to the Free Press, foreclosure numbers have dropped this year and outreach efforts to homeowners before the auction were increased.
Still, many families need assistance in saving their homes. The Tricycle Collective works with the United Community Housing Coalition to help families stay in their homes. More stories about these families and the work of the Tricycle Collective can be found at their website.