I frequent a coffee establishment here in town to help support the local economy and to meet with folks from my Meeting. I often joke with Jonathan, the owner, that he should rent me office space!
Jonathan is a wonderful young man who has a deep love for Christ and a passion for peace and justice. He and his wife, Beth, recently purchased a home in a very poor, needy neighborhood in Klamath Falls. They were eager to reach out and love their neighbors. Soon after they moved in, they, along with their one-year old son, developed dry mouth, mouth sores, difficulty breathing, and headaches. After a bit of research they learned their new home had been exposed to high levels of methamphetamine. Testing revealed toxic levels so high that they had to vacate their newly purchased home, leaving all their contaminated personal property behind.
At present, they have no legal recourse, and will have to make payments to the bank for a loan on a house that is unsafe to inhabit. Jonathan and Beth see this as an opportunity to raise consciousness around an issue that has touched many other unsuspecting homebuyers in other states around the country. Jonathan and Beth are deeply troubled that current laws do not protect innocent people like them. They certainly don’t want this to happen to others.
Their story has rapidly gained media attention. Our local paper ran a front-page story. Jonathan was interviewed on Jefferson Public Radio. There is an online petition circulating through www.change.org that will hopefully raise awareness and send a message to policymakers to protect those buying foreclosed properties from this kind of financial ruin. They already have over 8,000 signatures on their petition!
Contributed by Faith Marsalli, Klamath Falls