Immigrant farmworkers have found refuge and housing at Slocum House since January of 2017, when they were invited in by Bill Cuddy and Keith Cieplicki of Jail Ministry who offered the space as sanctuary. From January to June, more than 10 immigrants and their families have stayed at the house and made community with allies, friends, and activists in Central New York.
While they were invited with no time limits or conditions, in June of 2017 they were informed the house would be donated to A Tiny Home for Good, a local nonprofit organization that focuses on housing for the homeless. Bill Cuddy and Keith Cieplicki went as far as to slide an eviction notice under the doors of the three farmworkers’ living at the house at the time to make it known that there would be no more hospitality at Slocum House.
After many attempts at dialogue to find understanding and solidarity for farmworkers, allies and activists members of Syracuse Black Lives Matters, Friends of Dorothy, the ISO and many others joined them for a rally on August 15, 2017 in which they spoke up about this injustice. At the end of the rally, Bill Cuddy said farmworkers could stay at Slocum House “indefinitely.”
Unfortunately, about two weeks later, A Tiny Home for Good informed the farmworkers how “unreasonable” that will be, and that they would offer just one year for housing and then hospitality would be closed for them.
Since last year, a growing number of allies and friends of immigrant farmworkers have organized to help in solidarity so that Slocum House could continue as a home of refuge and hospitality. They have been providing food and other necessities like rides and accompaniment for the workers and their families who have stayed at the house since then.
Michael DeSalvo and Nick Orth from Friends of Dorothy are leading an effort to buy the house from A Tiny Home for Good. Andrew Lunetta, its director, had agreed initially but we are concerned that Jail Ministry will put restrictions on the donation of the house, or Andrew Lunetta and A Tiny Home for Good will not follow through on their word.
- Make a phone call to Andrew Lunetta from A Tiny Home for Good and ask him to honor his promise to sell Slocum House to friends of farmworkers so that it will continue as a hospitality house for immigrants and farmworkers. You can also send an email.
- Ask him to refuse the donation of the house if it comes with any restriction that will affect the sale of the house to friends of farmworkers.
- More information here
A Tiny Home for Good is also getting a good size donation of land with the house. We just want to buy the house. He can build his future tiny homes on the land, while we provide solidarity for farmworkers at Slocum House. We can COEXIST. We can work in SOLIDARITY! With this small gesture of hospitality and good will, we can honor the contributions of immigrants and farmworkers who already give so much to our community. FARMWORKERS FEED THE WORLD!
There are five people living at the house right now, three of them are children. They need a safe place to stay. Now more than ever, immigrant farmworkers need our solidarity!