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Fundraiser launched by kind neighbors saves 72-year-old woman from losing a roof over her head

The 72-year-old Minneapolis resident was on the brink of losing the roof over her head but her kind neighbors were right by her side to help her.
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Save Miss Linda's Home
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Save Miss Linda's Home

Finding affordable housing has become a challenge for young people who are struggling to make ends meet, but what happens when someone is left without a roof on their head at an old age?

A 72-year-old woman Linda Taylor had called a small house in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis home for the past 20 years. But she was on the brink of losing her abode when her landlord decided to sell it and gave Taylor 3 months to vacate the place, as per Star Tribune. That's when the local community stepped in to collect funds and ensure that she didn't end up without a home.


At the time, Taylor told the media outlet, “I took care of this house every day. Every appliance I own. All the utilities for 18-plus years, I have paid for.” She sued to own the house in 2004 after buying it but unfortunately, Taylor was caught in a mortgage fraud scheme that forced her to sell the house. According to The Washington Post, Taylor gradually started falling behind on her rent and in 2006, her current landlord Greg Berendt purchased the house from her previous landlord.

Taylor, who worked at a nonprofit organization before being laid off during the pandemic, struggled to pay the rent that was raised by her current landlord. She continued paying the $1,400 rent per month from her savings, family donations, and government subsidies. “It felt like the world had been pulled from under me,” she told the outlet when her landlord finally told her to vacate the property. “My house means everything to me.” She confided in her neighbor Andrew Fahlstorm, who worked as a housing rights organizer. “If we actually believe housing is a right, then we need to act like it, because the next stop is homelessness,” Fahlstorm said, as per The Outer.


Soon the word spread amongst other neighbors who were more than happy to stand with Taylor and do everything they could to help her keep the roof over her head. “We just immediately shifted into high gear and started meeting and trying to figure out a plan to help rectify the situation and ultimately allow her to stay in her home, which is what she wants to do,” Jenny Jones, another of Taylor's neighbors mentioned. “People listened to what Miss Linda was saying and wanted to do something,” Andrew explained. “It was just such a clear and compelling story that everyone rallied for her.”


"The neighborhood’s being proactive in what they’re trying to achieve here and I give them kudos for that,” the landlord Berendt commented. “We’re not trying to cause any issues. We’re willing to work with her in any way we can for her to purchase the home. I’d like to see the home go to her,” he added. Taylor and her supporters still had to find ways to raise $250,000 for the home before the landlord could list the property publicly for sale. The community started an online fundraiser called Save Linda's Home and raised $275,000 for Taylor, which was enough to buy her home, cover repairs, and pay off some utility bills.


On May 23, 2022, on the Facebook page dedicated to Taylor and the community's efforts to save the house from being sold, a post announced their much-awaited news of victory. "We did it! Our neighborhood came together to stop landlord exploitation in its tracks! Thanks to the community coming together Linda was able to sign paperwork this week to buy her home. In celebration of this wonderful achievement mark your calendars for a block party on 6/25 from 11-2! In the meantime, we have kept the fundraisers open to raise money for additional repairs to the house," the post read.


"I knew my neighbors loved me, but I didn't know how much," Taylor said, who was known for the little free library on her front lawn and for her volunteer work in the community. "When it's yours, it gives you a different type of feeling. I'm safe, I'm secure, and I have a home. I'm here to help the next person and the next person and the next person." Her neighbor Jones emphasized that Linda’s campaign started with her confiding in a single neighbor. “I know there’s a lot of people out there that are too scared to tell or don’t know what to do,” she mentioned. “Tell people so we can help you.”


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