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Couple tries to make their way out of houseless crisis in Portland

Forced into RV living four years ago, Benjamin and Lynn Krasowski are working and taking classes to give their young son a better life.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Most haven't experienced what Benjamin and Lynn Krasowski are going through. The couple has lived in an RV for the past four years, since their son William was 4 months old. "People don't care about our story. They see the RV and assume they know the story," said Benjamin Krasowski.

They lost their apartment four years ago when a roommate left unexpectedly, and at that same time, Benjamin could no longer work because of a medical condition. The couple ended up on the street. 

"I think that people forget that we are human beings, just like them, just in a rough spot," said Lynn Krasowski.

They've tried to stay at RV parks, but many in the Portland area have rules prohibiting RVs more than 10 years old. The Krasowskis' RV is at least 15 years old. 

They've been finding spots around Portland to park and stay, but they aren't always welcome in those areas. Currently, they are parked in a neighborhood in Northeast Portland.

"It's really hurtful actually, that people just judge you, because we're just a family trying to raise our son, in a rough spot trying to get back on our feet," said Krasowski.

The couple caught a break about a year ago when Lynn Krasowski got a full time job as a bartender. Things were going great for about 9 months. But then the pandemic hit. She lost her job and the restaurant closed for good. 

They have worked other small jobs but nothing has been enough to get them out of the cycle of homelessness. 

When one works, the other stays with the child — that’s one reason why they can’t accumulate enough money for a place.

"We talked about it and we were just like, we need to go to school," said Lynn Krasowski. "To better our family and our situation. And hopefully along the way we can get into a place." 

She's now a student at American College of Healthcare Sciences, and Benjamin is going to Portland Community College. 

The couple now hopes for compassion and a little humanity as they strive to give William a better life.

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