Homelessness is a plight that has plagued Americans across income brackets. One missed paycheck, email from your landlord or violent removal by family can bring about housing insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified the strain. Due to shutdowns across the nation and a loss of income for many, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention presented an eviction moratorium for renters, but it expired on Saturday, July 30.
This means those who are still without work or had to take lesser-paying jobs may be in trouble—especially if their rent payments have been mounting instead of being wiped completely.
U.S. Representative Cori Bush is taking a stand to help.
In a moving demonstration, Bush, along with Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Rep. Ilhan Omar, has been sleeping on the steps of the U.S. Capitol since Friday night. In order for the moratorium to be extended, the House of Representatives, which Bush is a member of, would need to reconvene. They would then need to pass legislation that would extend the moratorium until the end of 2021.
“There are people already receiving and have received pay or vacate notices that will have them out on tomorrow. People are already in a position where they need help, our most vulnerable, our most marginalized, those who are in need…How can we go vacation? No, we need to come back here,” Bush said from the steps of the US Capitol.
“The House is at recess. People are on vacations. How are we on vacation when we have millions of people who could start to be evicted tonight?” Bush, said to CNN on “Newsroom.”
Bush has been transparent about previously being unhoused and living in her car with her two children.
“This never ending instability, combined with the constant fear of interacting with the police, losing custody of my children, having my car impounded — or even losing my life — left me stressed, traumatized and exhausted,” she wrote for Time on July 30. “Being unhoused in America must no longer be viewed as an individual shortcoming, but rather as an unacceptable, life-threatening policy failure.”
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