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La Pine steps up to help three senior sisters living in car


Three La Pine sisters, all older than 70, were evicted from their long-time home this summer because their landlord decided to sell the property. After months of living in their little red car, a community effort to find them a new place to live is gaining momentum.

The Stuart sisters moved to Oregon when their dad retired in the early ’80s. After some time in Klamath Falls, they moved to La Pine and have been there ever since.

In June, they were evicted from the place they called home for 21 years.

“He wanted to make money, he said, and so he decided to put it on the market and is trying to sell it,” Sandra Stuart told NewsChannel 21 on Thursday.

Unable to find a place they could afford in La Pine and without family in the area, they said they were forced to live in their red Ford Focus.

Sharrell Stuart told us why they chose the library parking lot for their car.

“It’s lighted enough and it’s not dark and it’s safer,” she said.

After a while, someone took notice and stepped in to help.

“Over the course of the summer, through the warming shelter, we were able to provide a few nights stay here at the Highlander Motel,” said Chad Carpenter, director of the Warming Center in La Pine.

“So we were able to do that a few nights here and there, so they were able to have a few nights in a bed and be able to get a shower.”

But that wasn’t a long-term solution, so now some community members are raising money to buy them a trailer.

Siri Hamilton told us, “The goal basically is to get them out of their car. I’ve been making phone calls to try and find rentals, but here in La Pine, rentals are few and far between.”

While one of the sisters, Sandra, recovers from recent cancer surgery, the hotel has donated four more days.

The community is trying to buy a trailer before winter sets in. They have already identified a place for the trailer to park, and the sisters would pay the monthly park fee. They want to stay in the area because their parents are buried there.

If you want to help out, here’s a link to the GoFundMe page.

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