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Faces of the Grand Rapids housing crisis: Carla Dentmond

In this five-part series, residents of the greater Grand Rapids area share their personal stories of housing insecurity and homelessness. Part 2.
Carla Dentmond (r) and her mother Minnie expect eviction soon.

Carla Dentmond (r) and her mother Minnie expect eviction soon. /Amy Carpenter

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Grand Rapids Homes for All met last Friday night at Baxter Community Center to talk about the housing crisis and gentrification in Grand Rapids. In this meeting, residents had an opportunity to join the Tenant Union, brainstorm ideas about housing solutions in Grand Rapids, and share their stories in preparation for the upcoming City Commission meeting. Amy Carpenter talked to several people who have experienced housing insecurity or homelessness and they asked her to share their stories.

Carla Dentmond's life has changed drastically since her mother, Minnie Dentmond, lost her home.

"My mom is living with me because the landlady said she had to go ... because she was selling the house. My mom had been there 25 years."

"At first they only gave her a couple of days [to get out] - we went to court to get 10 days." The Dentmonds reflected that 10 days wasn't much time to move 25 years worth of belongings.

Carla continued, "Now she's living with me. It's hard to adjust to having my mom in the house. And I rent from the same landlord. She hasn't told me I have to go yet."

But Carla reports that a man was at the property taking pictures recently - not just outside the house, but inside as well. In the rapidly changing neighborhoods near the Wealthy Street corridor, people taking pictures of houses are a common sight, and a sign that buyers are interested and a sale is coming soon.

"I don't know where we can go," said Carla, "because I can't buy. And rent is way too high out here. Where are we going to go?"

"I know we are on the edge."

The Dentmonds shared that they expect to hear those dreaded words any day now: "You got to go."


Part 1: Minnie Dentmond

Part 3: Karla Monterusso

Part 4: Joyce Daniels

Part 5: Chanae Jackson

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