Springfield No One Leaves

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Springfield No One Leaves is a grassroots organization that seeks to organize residents most directly impacted by the housing crisis and economic inequality to build collective power, defend against displacement, and win long-term community ownership. They are at the heart of their community, building the relationships needed to create change and have a deep understanding of the root causes of the housing crisis as well as finding innovative solutions to these problems.

Address:
143 Main Street Room 103
Springfield, MA 01103
www.springfieldnooneleaves.org

Mission:

SNOL is a grassroots, member-led organization. Our mission is to organize residents most directly impacted by the housing crisis and economic inequality to build collective power, defend against displacement, and win long-term community ownership and control over land and housing.

History:

SNOL was created in 2010 by a coalition of community groups in response to the devastating foreclosure crisis sweeping across Springfield, MA. They work to support families facing foreclosure and eviction, and to organize a community. Through an approach that combines legal defense with direct public actions, SNOL has courageously prevented the eviction 99% of their members.

The Issues:

As in other low-income communities of color, the Wall Street banks targeted Springfield families with an epidemic of subprime predatory loans and heavily inflated home values. Their practices crashed the economy and the resultant crisis of mass foreclosures and evictions is still felt.

Greed and profiteering triggered the foreclosure crisis, which has now triggered a spike in the demand for rental housing. The problem is exacerbated by low-income and minority community members being pushed out of the community by gentrifying forces attracted to Springfield by the opening of an MGM Casino. Families are finding themselves without a home and in financial ruin.

Constituency and Leadership:

SNOL is entirely member-led and prioritizes and builds the leadership of those most impacted by housing injustice, especially women of color. Their Advisory Board is made up of members, which sets the overall direction for the organization and makes collective decisions. SNOL members attend facilitation and organizing skills workshops in order to build skills to lead the organization.

Tackling Oppressive Structures:

SNOL has organized more than 250 public actions, created a “legal shield” of volunteer attorneys, helped more than 218 families secure permanent affordable housing; organized 75 residents to claim a community garden, and completed a community survey of 350 residents to better understand their community needs.

Movement Building:

SNOL works with many groups fighting for racial, social and economic justice in Western Massachusetts, the State, and the country. SNOL works to protect the rights of low-income people of color in cities, and develop national campaigns and strategies. Locally, they brought renters together to build power to develop a Renters Bill of Rights for the community and “know your rights” trainings.

They worked with unions to develop city ordinances for stronger wage theft protections, housing regulations that make the developers in the city accountable for responsible development, and requires developers to hire workers from Springfield, women, people of color, veterans and LGBTQ. SNOL worked on the “welcoming ordinance” which limits any city employee or police officer from inquiring about a person’s immigration status. They continue to look for ways to collaborate with community organizations, unions, and others to build unified power and a multi-issue movement.

Evaluation:

SNOL evaluates their work by looking at whether they have met measurable outcomes and goals in their organizing work plan. They collect quantitative data regarding turnout, targets, goals and evaluations of each action. SNOL also uses member and participant evaluations to evaluate the effectiveness of their Movement Leaders Academy, membership meetings, events and actions. They hold a year-end organization-wide retreat and evaluation process that evaluates the effectiveness of bringing about real, systemic change and building a broad movement for social justice.

Long-term Vision for Change:

SNOL believes in a transformative model of social change. They believe that the people most harmed by the current housing crisis are the ones who must lead the movement because they are the ones with the knowledge and insight to bring about real change and have the most to gain from true, systemic analysis of the root causes of economic and social injustice. Therefore, they prioritize leadership development and political education as an integral part of the work they do and as a way of affecting change in the economic, social and legal systems that oppress communities.

Organization Budget:  $120,500
Request: $5,000

raised to date this week: $2,025

You can support SNOL by clicking on the Donate button below: