A family in Portland is being terrorized by squatters who have set up camp next door and even set their property on fire.
Jacob and Beth Adams live next door to an abandoned home that has been taken over by several homeless people.
The couple has caught the homeless people overdosing and stealing from their backyard – but said the final straw was when the group set their property on fire.
‘There are fires that have been happening off and on. Major ones. This recent one actually came and set our property on fire,’ Jacob told Fox12.
The Adams’ official neighbor, who is a Vietnam veteran, echoed his concern, adding that the squatters have made his living situation worse than his military deployment in Vietnam.
‘I felt safer when I was walking around in downtown Saigon when I was in Vietnam than I do here in Portland,’ Armand Martens, 83, told the news outlet.
Jacob said the city’s changing policies impact his neighborhood as he recalled the past five years of drug use in the area and the constant fires, including the most recent blaze.
‘Within 12 hours of that fire, another fire popped up,’ Jacob recalled. ‘My wife was screaming, and propane tanks were igniting off from the fire.’
Footage of the fire showed the blaze coming from the squatter home as a woman was heard shrieking in the background.
The unknown danger has led Jacob to purchase his own fire extinguishers in case of an emergency.
Jacob has called police constantly to report his squatter neighbors, but it appears nothing has changed.
‘I don’t know how many times I’ve talked to police, because people are screaming, or someone is overdosing,’ he told the news outlet. ‘It’s just countless, countless first responders’ calls.’
Video footage taken from the Adams’ front door showed Jacob talking to a man who allegedly stole firewood from his backyard. The theft was one of many disturbances by intruders.
‘We all have to love our neighbor no matter who they are. But at the point when they start setting your place on fire it becomes a little more difficult,’ Jacobs told the news outlet.
Red vacate notices are plastered across the outside walls of the squatter home but it doesn’t appear the current residents are taking the hint.
‘The police’s hands are tied because they can’t vacate people because we call, but what does that do?’ Jacob said.
Multnomah County, where Portland is located, counted 6,633 people as experiencing homelessness on the night of January 26, 2022. Homeless statistics can be hard to verify as individuals will move around each day.
Of the 6,633 people counted as homeless, 3,611 were living on the street and in homeless encampments, and an additional 2,222 people were sleeping in the city’s shelters. A further 800 more were in transitional housing.
The rise in homelessness has also led to an increase crime in the city.
It is understood that there were some 93 homicides in Portland in 2022. The city police department’s data is yet to confirm this number however, only releasing statistics up until October of this year identifying 82 murders.
This number would set a new record for murders in 2022, up from the previous year’s record of 88 in 2021. This smashed past the murder rate in 2020, where there were 57 homicides in comparison.
Written by Vanessa Serna for the The Daily Mail ~ February 27, 2023