PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Clyde Willcutt has a dog named Mr. Magoo. He lives in a cabin with Corey Greig and illegally built the cabin with Don Rainey.
They built the cabin along Marine Drive, visible to drivers heading south on the I-205 bridge who looked across the Columbia River. Willcut, Greig and Rainey said they will be homeless once again after PBOT officials told them to dismantle the cabin and leave.
The cabin had a roof and a loft, Willcutt said. “We had to take it off because they told us we had to move it, take it apart. So that’s what we’re doing,” he told KOIN 6 News in early March.
“This spot has been the longest we were” anyplace, Greig said. “We were here 6 months.”
Rainey doesn’t really understand why people, including PBOT officials, would be concerned about the cabin.
“We tried to get housing. We tried to get help and they said they were going to give us help and they never came back,” Rainey said. “So, I just got started Social Security, so it isn’t like we have a lot of money coming in and we gotta survive. We just want to be like everybody else.”
Rainey, 56, has lived in Portland for 30 years. The last 8 years he’s lived on the streets after he said he became disabled.
Willcutt, 61, went to high school in Colton. He served in the Army, has had numerous run-ins with the law and suffers now from a bad hip which he said keeps him from working in the construction trade.
“I’ve been on the streets for 5, 6 years now,” he said. “I’m really tired of it.”
Greig came to Oregon from Idaho after getting into trouble with drugs. He said they can’t get the 3 of them into an apartment.
“They don’t allow that. Like, if you try to rent an apartment with more than one person, they don’t like that. Yeah, like, if you get an apartment, too, like, say you get an apartment, you try to bring your friend over to shower. No, they don’t like that,” Greig said. “They’ll kick you off that.”
Willcutt agreed. “You get evicted. You get kicked out.”
Rainey said the issue is not drugs or drug treatment programs. “It has to do with housing,” he said. “That’s basically it. I mean, everything’s expensive nowadays. Look at the price of gas. You got to pay $5 a gallon. That’s crazy.”
Originally, the men built the cabin to store their belongings and lived in motor homes until recently when, they said, the city made them move their RVs.
Willcutt said he had motor homes at the cabin to handle the sewage. “And, like, I walk to a 7-Eleven or go to Home Depot.”
When KOIN 6 News spoke with the men on a Wednesday, they said PBOT issued an order that everything had to go.
“We’re supposed to have it done by now and stuff,” Willcutt said. Greig added they were “supposed to have it done Monday.”
However, PBOT spokesperson Dylan Rivera told KOIN 6 News the bureau has not given the men an ultimatum under the City’s policy to avoid displacing people during the pandemic.
“We advised the people living in this west location that a structure on public property would not be allowed, but we did not set a deadline for them to remove the structure,” said Rivera. “We do not have any immediate plans to clear the area or remove any materials from the area, and we have not told anyone there that we plan to force them to leave. People living there have told us that they have made their own plans to relocate.”
Willcutt, Greig and Rainey told KOIN 6 News they still have to find somewhere else to live — and how to pay for it. Greig said he’s looked for work but it’s not easy.
“I applied and applied and apply to jobs and not being able to shower, not being able to, you know, take care of yourself, hair, haircuts, rent, you know, trying to keep clean, keep clean clothes, not being able to do laundry — you can’t find a job. You walk into a place. They look at you and go ‘ha, ha.'”
Willcutt is now building a tiny home. His plan? Take the tiny home and Mr. Magoo to Arizona to live with family. He hopes he can make it that far.
The Oregon DMV and court records show Willcutt’s driver license is revoked and he is not supposed to be behind the wheel.
“That’s what I’m doing,” Willcutt said. “It’s really frustrating. But I’m doing it.”