On Monday, Nov. 7, Occupy Atlanta took their issues to the suburbs in hopes of helping the Rorey family keep their home.
The Snellville family of five, including two school-age children, have lived in their Shoreside Circle home since 2003. They are now facing a foreclosure. (See video attached.)
Having never missed a payment, problems started after the family met someone who promised to help them with a loan modification, according to the family's Tucker-based attorney Asim Alam. In July 2010, the family defaulted in order to take advantage of that loan modification. Soon after, the foreclosure process started.
That man, the attorney said, has since been arrested in other schemes.
"The Roreys represent probably the prime example of who the community at-large should be seeing as a victim and really scratching its head, wondering what is going on," Alam said.
Tawanna Rorey's husband, a 40-year-old law enforcement officer with DeKalb County, sent the Occupy Atlanta group a message last week. And, by Friday, Occupy Atlanta protestors were at the family's foreclosure court hearing.
"A lot of times people don't reach out because they don't know what to do," Rorey said, standing in the front lawn of her home. "They don't know where to go and who to get help from."
Now, the families belongings are packed inside storage containers, and they are hoping good will intervenes on their behalf. The home, a place of birthdays, anniversaries and fun family events, is where the Roreys had planned to stay. Having moved from an apartment prior, Tawanna Rorey said the home was their dream.
"We're kind of just hoping that something bigger takes over and leads us in the direction we need to go," she said.
Stacey Bourbonnais, a spokeswoman with the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department, said Monday that the pending foreclosure was "still with the courts."
As far as an eviction, "We do not have anything scheduled at this time," she said.
Occupiers say they plan to stay as long as it takes, and that they are prepared to be arrested if and when eviction time comes for the family. Some 20 people were camped out at the home -- including two tents in the fornt yard -- to show support.
Tim Franzen, an organizer with Occupy Atlanta, said foreclosures, like the one facing the Rorey family, is "a symptom of wealth and equity." If the country changed its economic priorities, it could work for everyone, he added.
He added that the situation here in the outskirts of Snellville could be anyone's.
"Everybody knows somebody that has been hit by this economic crisis of priority," Franzen said. "Everybody knows somebody who is under-employed. Everybody knows somebody who us qualified but who cannot get a job.
"We all know somebody who has fallen on hard times, stuck in debt, and now wondering where are they going to live, where they're going to work. This is hitting everybody."