Supporters 'occupy' Oregon neighborhood to save family from eviction

Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Activists in Oregon continued Friday to occupy a blocks-long stretch of a Portland neighborhood and surround a foreclosed home there in an effort to keep a needy family from being evicted.

The "Red House" had belonged to the Kinney family for more than 60 years until they fell on hard times and the home went into foreclosure. It was bought for $265,000 two years ago.


Since then, the Kinneys have fought to stay in the home and resisted efforts by the new homeowners to evict. The situation intensified Tuesday when sheriff's deputies attempted to forcibly remove the family, but were resisted by supporters of the family who'd shown up to help.

Supporters and other activists have since moved in and barricaded themselves along a three-block stretch in the neighborhood. They have fortified the area with boards, fences, metal and other items around the house and in the street.

Friday is the fourth straight day of the occupation.

"As winter arrives and temperatures dip below freezing, the community remains resolute in their support, initiating weatherizing projects for those who continue to live and sleep outside the Red House in anticipation of a second eviction, which could happen anytime in the next four months," reads a statement on a GoFundMe page established to help the Kinneys.


"History shows the next eviction may be more devastating than the first."

The home's owners have said they're willing to sell the home back to the family, at cost. The GoFundMe campaign had raised nearly $262,000 by Friday.

William Kinney, the son of the couple evicted from the home, said his family wants a peaceful resolution and he's been negotiating with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and police to ensure the family's safety.

Wheeler said he also hopes for a resolution to end the blockade and protests. His city was ground zero for a number of anti-racism and police-reform protests earlier this year and over the summer after the police killing of George Floyd.

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