Mark and Linda Riles and their two children Richard, 13, and Cindy, 15, have lived in their small rental house for over six years. The house is in disrepair, but inexpensive. It is all they can afford on the family’s meager income. Everything is about to change as the property owner plans to tear the house down to make way for a new commercial building. Unable to find affordable housing elsewhere, the family decides to hold their ground in the hopes the property owner will change his plans and allow them to stay.
Linda is comforted by Mark and a neighbor after the property owner bulldozed a house adjacent to their rental house. The empty house had been used as storage for the many of the Rile’s belongings, which are now strewn about in a mess.
Richard Riles, 13, often spends time looking for his personal belongings scattered in the rubble of an adjacent vacant house his family used for storage before it was razed without warning recently by the property owner.
The property manager stops by to remind Mark and Linda of the date they are to vacate the house.
Preparing Sunday breakfast on a cold December morning, the Riles family gathers around the wood stove, which also serves as the only source of heating in the house.
Mark Riles, a schizophrenic and diabetic, uses the family bathroom when injecting insulin. Riles, who collects disability from the Army, struggles to support his family.
Linda prepares a load of laundry as her daughter, Cindy, left, and son, Richard hang out in the living room. Though she doesn’t own a clothes dryer, the newly purchased washing machine allows Linda to save money by washing clothes at home and hanging them outside to dry instead of using coin-operated machines elsewhere.
Trying to make ends meet, Linda buys the least expensive groceries she can find to stay within their food budget.
Lacking beds, or central heat, the Riles family sleep together on the floor in the living room to conserve heat.
Although it’s nearly certain the house will be razed within a week, Linda continues to clean house as usual.
The day arrives when the local sheriff comes to the Riles’ home to enforce the eviction order. The Riles must vacate the house immediately.
Men hired by the property owner remove the Riles’ belongings from the house.
Linda carries an armload of clothing from the house, as the family is evicted.
Within minutes of removing the Riles’ personal belongings, the property owners’ hired hands raze the house.
Linda Riles tearfully watches a dozer raze the home she and her family lived in for six years.
The house leveled to the ground, Mark and Linda stand in the yard amid their belongings, contemplating an uncertain future.