‘This is our home’: Kentucky convalescent home residents protest against eminent domain

Kentucky

RUSSELL, KY (WOWK) – It’s been a hot subject in the city of Russell, Kentucky: Residents and workers at the Russell Convalescent Home are in danger of losing their facility by eminent domain.

A case has been filed against such action and while it’s still under litigation, these residents are looking for as much support as they can get. 

Earlier this year, the city of Russell announced they will be using eminent domain to take down the building for a redevelopment project. This move would force these residents to be evicted.

Both residents and employees in the convalescent home say this is more than a building they’re fighting for, it’s a home. After reaching out for support, they received it from people all over the U.S.

A lot of people have reached out so it’s going to be pretty amazing. This is the presidents’ home, this is our home, this is our family and they have nowhere to go.

Dreama Hedge, medical supervisor

Residents and workers set up a protest Thursday evening, bringing supporters from out of the area.

According to residents of the facility, the overall support has been a pleasant surprise. One of their big-name supporters being 2020 Libertarian Vice President Candidate Spike Cohen.

Cohen was at the event and spoke with several residents and he says putting a face and a name to each resident allows people to see that it’s not just a building being torn down.

When you actually see them and when you actually meet them and you get to know their actual story, not just that they have one, but actually know their story, it just drives home that these are folks who have lived here, some of them over 20 years, who are now facing being scattered across the state.

Spike Cohen, 2020 Libertarian Vice President Candidate

Supporters from as far as texas protested outside of the home before attending the Russell City Council meeting at 6 p.m. After the meeting, protestors spoke before council members, urging them to rethink their decision once again.

However, not everyone at the meeting was against the council’s decision. Russell resident Todd Schreier says he is one-hundred percent for the use of the eminent domain, noting what he has seen for himself both inside and outside of the home operations.

These are people with serious issues, serious health issues that the proper care, in my opinion, is not being given to them.

Todd Schreier, Schreier Group President

The convalescent home will have 12 days to get 100,000 signatures on their petition to save the home. At that point, the petition will be sent to the White House.

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