EUGENE, Ore. — Occupy Eugene members spent Labor Day fixing up a foreclosed home in downtown Eugene. The group occupied the home at 1191 Lawrence Street for the past six weeks.
Vickie Embree helps brush on a fresh coat of paint on the fence that surrounds this now almost two-year vacant house. For her, the project hits close to home.
“In December, I started getting concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to pay my mortgage payments,” said Embree.
She tried to refinance her mortgage but it wasn’t enough, so Embree reached out to a group that could relate to her struggles.
“I’m trying to learn as much as I can in the mean time and these guys have really been sharing a lot of information about the law,” said Embree.
For the past six weeks, activists occupied this foreclosed home as a public demonstration and tool to help people like Embree.
“We explain that we’re here to educate people about foreclosure, to help homeowners stay in their homes and once they hear that, they are supportive,” said Occupy Eugene member Lee DeVeau.
They say their time here has been peaceful and that neighbors commend them for their efforts to improve the look of this once run-down corner house, even by the woman who originally abandoned it.
“Once we explained our reasons for being here, she both gave us permission to be here and thanked us for our care and concern for the house, for the neighborhood,” said DeVeau.
So, with each stroke of white paint, the Occupy crew confidently keeps pushing forward with their protest project–standing up for foreclosure victims who can’t do it alone.
“I pay my bills, I have good credit history. I don’t go out and charge a bunch of stuff on my credit card that i can afford. So, it’s not a deficiency in me that caused this to happen,” said Embree.