Though SHAPE Community Center was recently sold at auction, founder and director Deloyd Parker assured Houstonians that the iconic Third Ward institution was not going anywhere.Turns out, he was right.
Houston attorney Ben Hall managed to save SHAPE.
â€śEverything is in the hands of Ben Hallâ€™s law firm, so weâ€™re comfortable heâ€™s going to represent us very well,â€ť Parker said.Â â€śI canâ€™t talk about details of the case right now, but SHAPE is going to be here; 43 years and counting.â€ť
A Harris County judge approved a temporary restraining order that halted the transfer of SHAPE to EZ Trust, the entity that bought SHAPE for $81,000 at auction.Â It is alleged that SHAPE accrued a debt of $60,000 due to unpaid leases on two copiers.Â An out-of-state default judgment of $69,000 was awarded to debtors, which led to the auction.
However, attorney Ben Hall said SHAPE was never informed of the judgment, thus making the sale null and void.
Hall said he has been unable to find a public notice of the foreclosure sale for any SHAPE address â€“ a requirement for such a sale to be considered legal.
â€śIt should never have gotten on the list,” said Hall, who asserts that when all is said and done, SHAPE will not owe anyone any money because they were never timely notified about the claim to protect their interests.
Since its founding in 1969, SHAPE has lived up to its official name â€” Self Help for African People through Education â€” by providing a multiplicity of services for community members of all ages.
Supporters of SHAPE, according to Parker, have shown their overwhelming interest in supporting the center any way they can.
â€śWeâ€™ve received over 1,000 emails,â€ť Parker said. â€śOur telephone has been ringing off the hook, with supporters from New York to Los Angeles, and even West Africa, asking how they can help.Â I tell them to keep up the support, and be ready so when we get that court date you can come and support us in court.Â SHAPE is here to stay.â€ť