In mid-February, a 68-year-old wheelchair-bound woman, along with her disabled daughter, will be evicted from their Petaluma home, says Tim Nonn, a member of Occupy Petaluma. Their story is one of many, as 3 million American homeowners face foreclosure in 2012.
"She's spent her whole life in the healthcare industry helping people," says Nonn, who attends church with the woman and her daughter, and who is choosing to respect her privacy by not giving her name. "She didn't come forward in time, just like I didn't come forward, because you feel ashamed."
Nonn lost his home in 2010 after his job was outsourced and his wife's store closed. The experience drove him into activism in foreclosure prevention.
The North Bay's foreclosure-prevention effort is gaining support from surprising allies, including Greg Morgan, president of Wells Fargo's North Coast Valley region. Morgan told the San Francisco Chronicle that he has a "constructive, respectful" relationship with Occupy Petaluma. In December, the Petaluma City Council passed a temporary moratorium on foreclosures for the holiday season. Nonn says that with recent lawsuits filed by New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman against Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo for wrongful and illegal foreclosures, the movement is swiftly growing.
For now, Occupy Petaluma will hold a series of public weekly vigils beginning on Feb. 19. Nonn explains a key purpose is to "take the shame and blame out of the process." Weekly vigils for people facing foreclosure and evictions begin on Sun., Feb. 19, at Walnut Park. D Street and Petaluma Boulevard, Petaluma. 2–3pm. 707.364.3795.