Freedom House played a key role during the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960’s. It faces an uncertain future as the home could be in foreclosure by the end of the month.
“It would be extremely difficult because it’s Civil Rights history, American history,” said Janice Grant, who owns Freedom House.
She said the Freedom Riders gathered with Grant and her family to discuss plans to register Black voters. Grant moved out of Freedom House, and moved next door with her husband, shortly after she returned from Mississippi. The home essentially remained empty since then.
She said squatters brought many things into Freedom House this past year and had not been paying rent. “I had no revenue to be able to pay, and that’s how it got in jeopardy,” Grant said.
To be able to keep the house, Grant said she will need $50,000 to pay the bank and back taxes.
Though Grant has her supporters, including the president of the Havre de Grace Colored School Museum and Cultural Center.
“A lot is not known about the Freedom Riders,” said Patricia Cole, who is helping to raise money to save Freedom House. “So I think the home can be used in many ways as a place in which people can learn and fully understand the struggles that, occurred during that time.”
Cole would like to see Freedom House renovated. However, the first step is saving it from foreclosure. They have until July 28, 2023 to sort it out.