Cass Community Social Services is a Detroit-based agency with a person-centered philosophy, dedicated to providing food, housing, health/mental health services, and job programs in areas of concentrated poverty.

March 22, 2023

For over three years, Cass Community Social Services (CCSS) has provided housing for Ms. Taura Brown on Detroit’s west side, where she might live alongside other Detroiters as part of our agencies anti-poverty program. Sadly, Ms. Brown has chosen from the beginning to make another residence her primary home, violating both the spirit and the conditions of the Tiny Homes program.

Her refusal to surrender the tiny house after the lease was not renewed in January of 2021 has deprived other low-income people the opportunity to live in, and eventually, own the home. Additionally, many people have suffered from her misinformation and slanderous attacks including her neighbors, CCSS staff members and myself.

After hearing her motion and Cass Community Social Services’ response, the court ruled on June 1, 2022 that CCSS was indeed justified in not renewing its lease with Ms. Brown. The court ordered her to leave the Tiny Home by July 1, 2022. She appealed the decision. The Third Circuit Court affirmed the lower court’s opinion on September 14, 2022. On October 28, 2022, Ms Brown filed a motion for reconsideration with the court. A court date was set to hear the motion on December 19, 2022. In that court date, the judge again affirmed the order and greed to allow her until January 9, 2023 to vacate the premises. Ms. Brown then filed several motions that were heard on Tuesday, March 22, 2023. Judge Shawn Jacque, 36th District Court, denied her motions, affirmed the ruling of the court and signed the writ (Order of Eviction) and afforded Ms. Brown an additional ten days to vacate. In addition to the court proceedings, Ms. Brown has filed numerous complaints with federal, state and local agencies, all of which were dismissed or the equivalent of dismissed after receiving substantial proof by CCSS of their illegitimacy.

The Cass Tiny Homes were never intended as second homes or to sit empty. They were designed to provide poor people with safe affordable rental housing which would convert into homeownership after seven years. There is no shortage of Detroiters who need this type of housing, not as an investment property but their primary residence.

CCSS stopped accepting rent from Ms. Brown in February of 2021 (25 months ago). During yesterday’s court proceedings Ms. Brown told Judge Jacque she currently has an account holding the equivalent of all her rent money, what would equal more than $7,500. We wish Ms. Brown well and regret that this issue could not have been resolved in a more respectful manner and without court involvement. In the future, we look forward to working with another person or family and continuing our commitment to our community and people seeking to escape poverty.

April 4, 2023

Cass Community Social Services tried to exercise extreme care to avoid the emotional event that took place at the tiny homes this morning. We never condone violence and planned with the courts, law enforcement and additional parties to make sure people – Ms. Brown, the protestors, the bailiffs, police, neighbors, staff and onlookers – would not be injured or arrested.  

Conversely, Ms. Brown and the outside group have been announcing for weeks that she would not vacate the home and that they planned to “use any means necessary” to avoid the court-ordered eviction.  

Tiny Homes Applications are Closed (8/1/2022)

Deputy Director Erica George, Co-CQI Leaders Al Sharpe and Joey Merchant as well as many of our program directors and managers who helped with accreditation. (Unfortunately, not everyone was available for the picture.)

The surveyors had very positive things to say about our programs and people – residents, members, staff and board members.

The book, authored by Faith Fowler, looks at the “American Dream.” the historical uses of small houses in the United States and how tiny homes have been utilized for poor and homeless people across the country. Readers will also learn about the decisions and logistics involved with building the Cass Tiny Homes and its innovative home ownership model.

Founded in 2014, the mission of the Cass Community Publishing House is to give a voice to writers from groups who are under-represented by the five major publishing companies and to offer a spotlight for religious and urban issues. Books by CCPH will include history, biography, photography, novels and poetry.

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