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Woman Who Fed Homeless Evicted From Her Home

November 05, 1987|ANDREA ESTEPA | Times Staff Writer

PASADENA — Dorothea Bradley, who fed the poor and homeless from the porch of her two-story house for six years, became homeless herself Tuesday.

Bradley, who had been operating a food distribution center out of her Earlham Street home, said she returned from a five-day food buying trip to the Salinas Valley to find that her front door had been padlocked by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

She had been living in the house as a squatter for seven years. When she first moved in, she paid rent to the owner, who had purchased the building with a HUD-sponsored loan. When the owner failed to make his mortgage payments, HUD foreclosed on the property, but Bradley stayed on. City officials eventually forced Bradley to stop distributing food from the home.

Although Bradley moved the food distribution operation to the offices of the American Friends Service Committee, she hoped to continue living in the house and using it for storage.

Last May, seven years after the foreclosure, HUD notified Bradley that she would have to move. Bradley fought the order, but the best she could get was a brief stay of eviction.

Bradley said five refrigerators filled with food were sitting in the locked-up house.

She said that she would like to negotiate with HUD to either rent or purchase the house but that officials have not returned her calls.

"I want them to talk to me," Bradley said. "They've never tried to negotiate with me."

Benjamin Bobo, manager of HUD's Los Angeles office, said Bradley can arrange to move the food and other property out of the house at any time by contacting the area's management program. Once the house is empty, he said, HUD will put it on the market.

Bobo estimated that the house is worth about $100,000. He said Bradley can make a bid on it but cannot stay there even if she is willing to pay rent.

Bradley said she has not found permanent housing.

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