June 30, 2016

Crunch Time

At 9:00am on June 30th, the office of the Wayne County Treasurer is filling with people making a last desperate effort to save their homes from tax foreclosure. On the 8th floor, the “ballroom” is full to the brim, number 100 is called and yet the next ticket available is 300.

Just next door, Fishbones and the Greentown Casino are eerily clean and quiet and calm.

By 4:30pm the building entrance is packed to the point that the revolving doors aren’t turning because there is no space to walk into. The line for the elevator snakes so many times that it becomes meaningless. Once upstairs, they will take a number like in an endless deli counter, and see if they can save their home. There are quiet babies and grown people and wheelchairs and feet tappers and so much confusion and stress. Today is the last day for 9,000 occupied homes and a total of 18,000 properties tone pulled from the fall auction, and all the desperation and procrastination of the tens of thousands of people affected is converging on this place in this moment. It’s a lot.

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