The Recovery Express to call attention to the nationwide home foreclosure crisis hits the road March 6 on a five-day cross-country trek.
Pulled together by members of the group People Improving Communities through Organizing National Network, known as PICO, as part of the National Campaign to Stop Preventable Foreclosures, the caravan and its “recovery riders” will stop in 11 cities on its way from California to Washington.
Once in the nation’s capital the group will meet with members of Congress and the Obama administration to present its ideas on how best to ease the foreclosure burden.
“I believe we have the power to do something about this,” said the Rev. Lucy Kolin, pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Oakland, Calif., who will make the 3,000 mile trip. “This is just another expression of what we are all called in faith communities to do, to love God as our neighbor.”
Rev. Kollin is feeling the effects of the foreclosure problem herself because her daughter and her family were forced to move into the church parsonage after the owner of the house they were renting came under a foreclosure action. On top of that, her daughter recently was laid off from her job at a lending institution.
Rallies and prayer services are planned in cities strained by foreclosures including Antioch, Stockton, Fresno and Bakersfield in California, Las Vegas, Denver, Kansas City, Mo., Springfield, Ill., Chicago, Flint, Mich., and Camden, N.J.
Once in Washington, up to 300 PICO participants are expected to converge on Congress seeking the enactment of bankruptcy reform so homeowners could legally modify their loans in court if banks refuse to work with them. They also will push Congress and Obama administration officials to hold banks accountable to their communities with new regulatory reform.
Founded in 1972 by Jesuit Father John Baumann in Oakland, Calif., the PICO Network, brings together people from faith communities to develop solutions to social problems.
Father Baumann recently received the Sister Margaret Cafferty Development of People Award from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
You can follow the caravan’s progress through it’s live blog.