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On August 2, 2014, members of Right 2 Survive and Right 2 Dream Too  took the Dirty Side of Portland Bus Tour with Groundwork and Know Your City.  We traveled first to Cathedral Park where we learned about the Superfund cleanup timeline and community outreach plan.  The Superfund cleanup is a federal government program that is instrumental in cleaning up the nation’s uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.  Portland was put on the national priority list in 2000 because of its toxicity from decades of industrial pollution contaminating the river with pesticides, heavy metals and PCBs.  Estimated time for proposal is sometime in 2015.  The results will then be released publicly.  It is okay to swim or participate in recreational activities in the river, but to be sure to wash well with soap and water afterward and clean anything you use.  Do not eat fish that live in the harbor; carp, catfish or bass.  They contain high PCBs from feeding because of the toxic sediment.

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We then traveled to Emerson Street Garden, a pilot brownfield project of Groundwork.  A brownfield site is a property that may have difficulties trying to redevelop/reuse because of contaminants, hazardous substances or other pollutants.  This property was once contaminated and has been transformed.  It’s a place for the community to come together to share, network, to learn about the environment and gardening.

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The last site we visited was a brownfield at 124th and Division, a vacant lot that has had many difficulties with redevelopment over the years.  McDonald’s made an offer, but neighborhoods objected, as they didn’t want another fast-food place.  David-Douglas High School students got together with Groundwork and created some renderings as suggestions for what to do with the property, including a community garden, place for local business or nonprofits.  Nothing has been done with this property at this time.

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Read more about this tour in this article from the Oregonian.

UPDATE on the Brownfields – August 28, 2014 – Portland Maps out 910 acres of polluted brownfields.

On June 24th, a dozen or so of us went on one of our biweekly under the bridge walks.  We met up with people under the Burnside, Morrison and Hawthorne Bridges and the surrounding areas.  Most of the time we are meeting up with old friends, finding out what has been happening in the streets, how the police are treating them, and what sweeps have been happening.

We had the honor of Mark J. Hofheins, Jr, with UCARE - United Coalition Against Repression for Equality –  recording the last walk.

Please donate what you can to help him with the productions of more videos like this.    You can find a link to donate on the YouTube page.

If you would like to see more pictures from tonight, you can find them HERE on our Facebook  page.

Video  —  Posted: June 26, 2014 in Organizations We Support
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Related Coverage

‘Tiny homes’ on the rise in Portland
Hundreds visit NE Portland for tiny home tour

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Tiny homes have popped up all around Portland, and soon, micro-communities may become a common sight as well.

Just 200 square feet and built for only $12,000 each, these tiny homes would rent for as little as $250 a month.

“These tiny houses are really the wave of the future. That’s how we’re going to answer our question of low-income housing,” said Michael Withey with Micro Community Concepts.
There are over 800 tiny homes, or “Accessory Housing Units,” in Portland. (KOIN)There are over 800 tiny homes, or “Accessory Housing Units,” in Portland. (KOIN)

Withey, a remodeler pushing for the micro-communities, took the idea to Portland City Council. He told KOIN 6 the micro-communities would be for the working, poor people who make less than $21,000 a year, including minimum wage workers who may even be homeless because they can’t afford market rents.

“There’s no one size fits all solutions, but we need a number of different options,” said Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

Micro Community Concepts is currently negotiating with the owner of a half-acre property near NE 146th Avenue and NE Burnside Street to put 25 tiny homes there.

Neighbors said they are OK with the concept, depending on how the homes look and who lives there.

“I think it would be interesting to see how it would play out,” said Kyra Butler.

Some questions about the zoning and infrastructure of the site have already been answered with the city’s decision to waive system development charges for individual tiny homes, which are also referred to as accessory dwelling units (ADU).

A community of tiny homes would be a Portland first.

However, questions have been raised about whether the city is in a position of backing the effort either with land or infrastructure.

“Well, the city’s already in the business of subsidizing affordable housing – and we should be – that’s a big part of what we do is to try to provide home ownership and rental housing opportunities for everybody in our community,” said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.

Even Withey admitted the micro-communities aren’t right for every Portland neighborhood. Concerns about property values and potential criminal activity have been expressed by some.

Regardless, the city council promised to take a serious look at micro-communities, particularly zoning.

Withey said if Micro Community Concepts can secure the land from the private owner and if the city council approves the zoning, construction on the micro-community could begin by early next spring.

Carey Found Housing.

Thank You R2DToo
By Carey W

I would like to thank Right 2 Dream Too for the years they have given me the support and shelter I have needed before I obtained my current housing.
The different people that I have met over the years has shown me that no matter what you did in the past, you too can end up housless.
I would like to take this time to thank Ib, for it was him that told me not to let others judge me for who I am. To all those still at R2DToo, keep your head up for when it is your time too you will find housing.

Carey Recently found housing. We are happy for you and wish you the best.

Image  —  Posted: June 25, 2014 in Uncategorized
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My Views on Homelessness and Pride: by Willow Frost When I was a teenager, I thought I was a fairly jaded person. I already disliked almost everyone, and I had trust issues due to being ferried between foster homes and juvenile detention centers. When I turned 17, I decided that the juvenile system had nothing left to offer me. I asked my probation officer if they would grant me emancipation, and thankfully, they agreed. When I first hit the streets of Portland, I realized that nothing could have prepared me for what had happened. I had my laptop, a few clothes, and a hatred for socializing. I made my way to Outside In, and they kind of helped me. For a while, anyway. As soon as it was made clear I had very specific goals in mind, and that those goals didn’t mesh with their view of what a ‘street kid’ should be, they began giving me the proverbial ‘cold shoulder’. So, noticing that I was being shunned, I travelled. I went to a lot of places, but the only ones pertinent to this story are New York City, and Chicago. I couldn’t find peace in any of those cities, and they turned me from being a jaded youth, into a near-sociopathic young adult. My levels of apathy and sheer ability to not care about people were honed to a razor’s edge. I started learning how to manipulate the system from the best those cities had to offer; the homeless. Now, I considered myself to be fairly persuasive and manipilative, but when faced with the street buskers of New York and Chicago, I was an infant in an ocean filled with Great Whites. When I returned to Portland, I was astonished at how easy it was to persuade friends to let me crash at their places. I was 23 years old at this point, and after navigating the waters of two of the biggest cities in the US, I felt like Portland was going to be my stomping grounds. Unfortunately, this was not the case. At least, not completely. Now, I mention all of this back story because for those of you reading this that aren’t homeless, you need to realize that while horrible, and crappy, and downright depressing being homeless can be, there’s a certain arrogance that each and every homeless person has that comes from surviving in a city where we’re actively criminalized. Being clever enough to wrangle enough money to live off of out of the pockets of passers-by is no mean feat. Finding a spot where you’re not going get your gear stolen or be woken up constantly and asked to move by police and or ther ‘civil servants’ is actually pretty hard. Organizing your gear and finding a place to stash it so you can take a shower, or look for work, or get other services, is near impossible if you’re by yourself. Because of all these things, we create small communities of those we can trust enough to watch our backs. People we can trust when the system has failed us so horribly. We’ll create circles of friends we like to call ‘street family’, so we can cut down on the depression that comes naturally with being on the street. And, generally, we close ourselves off from what we call ‘housies’ because there’s no way they can understand what we’re going through unless they’ve gone through the same thing. We’re bombarded by cold looks, glances of pity, and acts of hostility from the city, passers-by, and people who are lucky enough to be able to make a living wage. Despite all of our shortcomings, our lack of resources, and our unfortunate circumstances, we’re generally intelligent enough to live when others would fail, and this makes us proud of ourselves, even if it’s subconsciously. This is enough to make to make us a little bit arrogant. Or sometimes a lot arrogant. Just remember this the next time you see a homeless person smile at you and wave whileholding a sign: the greatest majority of America is living paycheck-to-paycheck, and if something doesn’t change in our country soon, it could be your child or friend on that corner in the near future. Another thing to keep in mind is that all of us, from the most disgusting looking hobo to the highest of the 1%, have a Right to Dream, and a Right to Survive. –Willow Frost

 

 

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The City Council continued the road closures and a pedestrian-only zone on Friday and Saturday nights through a section of Portland’s Old Town neighborhood dubbed the “Entertainment District.”

Road closures along Northwest Third Avenue from West Burnside Street to Northwest Everett Street run from 10 p.m. – 3 a.m on Friday and Saturday. Sections of Northwest Couch and Northwest Davis streets are also closed between Northwest Second Avenue and Northwest Third Avenue during the heavily-trafficked period.

Old Town Entertainment District was started as a pilot program in December 2012 after the Portland Police Bureau suggested doing something to address safety in the area. Weekend nights bring large crowds that pack the sidewalks, often spilling into the streets. Late-night drinking often leads to noise complaints, public urination and safety concerns over vehicle traffic passing by on Northwest Third Avenue.

Mike Smith and Mark J Hofheins Jr. go out on Friday and Saturday night to film the police. The goal is to keep pressure on the police to do the right thing since the cameras are rolling.

Film The Police Portland is a grass roots group of concerned citizens dedicated to police accountability. Our Goal is to use alternative media to interface with Portland Police Bureau in a positive professional manner. We hope to inspire other activists around the country to interact in a similar fashion with the ones charged with the hard work of protecting their communities! FTP Portland looks forward to developing a working relationship with our Portland Police.

UCare is standing for the people forgotten and treated lesser by all Political and Governmental entities to create a True and Equally Free America! “HOMELESSNESS DOES NOT MEAN EXEMPT FROM CONSTITUTIONAL GUARANTEES!!!” Resolutions and NOT institutions!!!

The entertainment district attracts all type of people from party goers, to the houseless community. When this video was filmed just steps away there was about 5 people sleeping near by in door ways. Minding their own business and sleeping away until the riot broke out. A lot of times the houseless community is blamed and exposed for actions that happen in Old town. However, this video proves the housed community are causing a lot of problems on Friday and Saturday nights. Its a double standard when this riot will never show on any news station.

Video  —  Posted: June 23, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Right 2 Survive and Right 2 Dream too held a benefit fundraiser on June 15th, at the Star Theater. The night was full of karaoke and fun. We had as successful raffle with selections from tattoos, to restaurants, from gadgets to wellness spas and paintings + photographs. some of the art work came from members of Right 2 Survive. 

We want to give a special Thank You to Bettie Mayhem. She kept us dancing and signing to all type of music. We want to thank the Star Theater and all the business that donated their time and services to our benefit. 

Right 2 Survive would like to Thank Sloth for all the hard work, time and preparation that went into making this night a success. Also thanks goes to Dikweed and Zach for helping to solicit donations. Look for more upcoming fundraisers and benefits for Right 2 Survive, Right 2 Dream too.

I had a blast at the Karaoke party. I was able to sing at the party. I sang Amarillo by Morning by George Strait, Family Tradition by Hank JR, and Stars Over Texas by Tracy Lawrence. I really sang these songs. I was able to meet new people in the community. – William B

 

 

Thank you to all of these wonderful people who helped make this happen:

The Most Wonderful KJ Ever:
Bettie Mayhem

Raffle Donors:
Adorn
Anne T.
Bishops
Blue Butterfly Imports
Common Ground Wellness
Desta
DieselFuel Prints
Handmade Gardens
Hawthorne Cutlery
Jeffery Brown
Kayti Summerland
Lisa Fay
Living City
Mimosa Studios
Miss Delta
Mississippi Pizza
Natalie S.
North Portland Bike Works
Olympic Provisions
Optic Nerve Arts
Pedro Dorsey
Portland Hempworks
Rachel Friefelder
Red and Black Cafe
Reilly S.
Ruthie Benjamin
Serratto
The Third Eye Shoppe
Tibet Spirit
Tiffany Murray
Tim Jordan

Support & Generous Donations:
Feminist Agenda
Groundwork Portland
National Lawyers Guild (Marin and Ashlee)

Star Theater:
Mike Damron
Lorraine
Count
Jeremy Cutting

Please support these business that help and contributed to the success of the benefit. 

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Check out the rest of the pictures here: 

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