Solidarity Houston

Joint Press Release between The Real School and Solidarity Houston

Joint Press Release between The Real School and Solidarity Houston

Contact:

Solidarity Houston: solidarityhouston@gmail.com

The Real School: unschool@therealschoolhouston.org

Date: 10/20/2014

The Real School and Solidarity Houston cohabitated in the ACT House (2805 Wichita St) from March 2014 – August 2014. The ACT Cooperative was ultimately unable to maintain ownership of the house, due to financial difficulties and a dwindling collective, and so both The Real School and Solidarity Houston had to shut their physical doors and search for a new space. We realize that this has caused repercussions in the greater community and we invite people to who would like to talk about these events to speak directly to the collective they feel more connected to.

The Real School and Solidarity Houston moved in together to support each other through difficult financial times, and because both collectives felt that their missions were compatible. The two collectives decided to do a six month trial period together, with a conversation at the end of six months to determine how to move forward.

The dissolution of the ACT House didn’t occur due to internal politics between the two collectives. Rather, that the financial drain from keeping a two-story house in Third Ward was unsustainable for the people in the ACT Collective. Losing the house was just a bad situation for all involved, but two conflicts occurred during the move-out process that we would like to be more transparent about:

· Solidarity Houston collective members were informed that the house was being sold a month before they had to move. This led to conflicts about painting before the lease was over, space sharing concerns, and an earlier end to Solidarity Houston’s programming than originally anticipated. This was also the second move for Solidarity Houston in six months.

· After Solidarity Houston moved out, some community members were crashing at the house due to homelessness. One person was approved to live there, but others joined without the consent of everyone at the Real School and Solidarity Houston. After repeated conversations about expectations for cleanliness and respect, those people were asked to leave the space, and eventually they did. Some items were stolen from the Real School during this period, causing serious financial damage to the Real School. The people who were crashing didn’t have keys to the space, and it is unclear as to how they got in.

Both of these conflicts were escalated due to stress, burnout in both collectives, and lack of communication due to opposite schedules, as well as very real financial concerns. Neither Solidarity Houston nor The Real School plan to shut down as a result of losing space. Both collectives are currently looking for a new space, and running temporary programming in the meantime. For more specific questions about where each collective is, community members are welcome to email us or message us on facebook.

– Solidarity Houston and the Real School