Eviction the Focus of Community Discussion at Euclid Public Library
In an open session at Euclid Public Library over 30 interested citizens came together to debate and discuss issues raised by the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. The gathering, hosted by Euclid Public Library February 22, was part of its participation in the One Community Reads initiative and one of several events surrounding the book.
Evicted follows the lives of eight families in Milwaukee as they struggle to stay in a home while facing eviction and how it impacts their lives. The discussion was led by self-described ultra-liberal Ted Steinberg of Case Western Reserve University who challenged the audience to consider options for addressing the issue of evictions which has hit cities like Euclid hard.
Audience members included Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer-Gail as well as the Chiefs of Euclid’s Police and Fire Departments. Police Chief Scott Meyer commented how Euclid police officers experience the realities of evictions as his department often has to deal with this common social problem. Meyer commented about steps the EPD has taken to address some of the issues surrounding and leading up to residents’ evictions.
Steinberg said it was interesting how the Euclid audience viewed the book as a depressing recitation of a common societal problem, yet when he held the same discussion in Beachwood the focus was on how friends or family often rallied around and supported evicted people during this personal crisis.
With several Euclid residents relaying stories of watching evictions in their neighborhood, others commented about how they are surrounded by multiple empty homes as a result of the complex housing issues faced by Euclid and touched on in the book. Holzheimer-Gail reported that vacancies are down right now in Euclid, but the number of vacant homes is still approximately 248 throughout the City which represents 4-5% of the housing stock. Euclid’s homeownership rate is approximately 49% according to a recent study.
Those interested topic have more chances to explore the issues surrounding the topic of evictions, including a Tenant’s Rights discussion at Euclid Public Library Monday, March 12. The One Community Reads collaboration culminates in author Matthew Desmond discussing the book at the KeyBank State Theater at Playhouse Square on March 15. Tickets are free with information available at Onecommunityreads.org. The presentation will be simulcast at nine libraries including Euclid beginning at 6:30 pm.
Someone who lives in Euclid, enjoys writing and wants to stay informed. My wife and I have two children and live in the northeast part of the City. We are active in many Euclid activities.