From KATU– By Thom Jensen and KATU.com Staff. July 1:
Moving Day for squatters, but where will they go next?
15927 SE Nehalem St.
Portland, OR 97236
PORTLAND, Ore. – The squatters booted from a home on Thursday removed their stuff from the house Friday, and since at least two of them have done this before, the question is where they will head next.
Police say they have found evidence across Portland that the squatters are targeting homes in danger of foreclosure.
Three of the four known squatters loaded up a van and a truck with their belongings Friday outside the home in the 6100 block of North Mississippi.
Kerry Cunneen, who has been arrested for squatting in another home in February, responded to KATU Thom Jensen’s question of where she and the others were headed next by saying, “We’re just going to live together from now on – you and me, Thom.”
No one gave a straight answer about whether they were simply going to take over another distressed home or try to make traditional living arrangements.
But inside the house, it was a disaster. Trash, sleeping bags and laundry were piled up everywhere. Walls were also knocked out or had holes in them to make room for sleeping spaces or storage.
Also inside were anarchy emblems and writings and socialist teachings. In an upstairs bedroom there were boxes of brand new locking door knobs. The real owner of the home, 66-year-old Gloria Johnson, who is now remarried and has taken the last name, Canson, found a lock like that on her door four months ago.
“I’m really sorry,” she said Friday. “I know that there are a lot of people who don’t have places to live in but don’t take advantage of the people that you’re supposed to be helping.”
Canson, a school teacher, did miss payments after paying huge medical bills and decided to move out in August after getting what looked like a real eviction letter from her bank. Neighbors said a few weeks later the squatters moved in.
“I needed to prepare myself for teaching. I couldn’t move and teach,” she said.
While packing, one of the squatters would only repeatedly blame banks for causing homelessness in response to questions.
A KATU News crew followed the squatters as they left in a truck in an effort to determine where they were headed next. But the squatters dodged the tail and at one point jumped out of the truck and took off on foot.
Canson has put up a new “For Sale” sign at the home, saying it’s just too far gone. The home is now up for short sale.