- Created: Wednesday, 03 October 2018 06:00
- Written by Carolyn Szczepanski
It’s not only damaging financially but damaging to your soul, to your spirit, to your self esteem, to your mental and physical health. There were so many lasting impressions and damage that there’s no way money could make you whole again. - Maria Johnson, former Crossroads resident
One night in 2015, Maria Johnson had a note slipped under her door telling her she had 30 days to find a new place to live. The Crossroads at Penn had been sold and the new owner had plans to “upscale” the property — and ultimately upend the lives of hundreds of residents, like Johnson.
On September 22, as part of the “Racism, Rent and Real Estate: Fair Housing Reframed” event series, Johnson shared her experiences on an all-tenant panel following a screening of the film “Sold Out: Affordable Housing at Risk.” The 2017 documentary produced by Twin Cities PBS centers the story of the Crossroads as an illustration of the loss of affordable rental homes throughout the region. Johnson was joined by Linda Soderstrom, a fellow former Crossroads tenant, as well as tenant experts Jewelean Jackson and December Wesley and Pat Longs, Community Programs Navigator at Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County (pictured, from left to right).
A clear theme emerged: Homelessness and housing instability have many faces.