PORTLAND, OR – The City of Portland is in negotiations to purchase a plot of land in the Central Eastside that could become the new home for the Right To Dream 2 rest area.

The site is owned by the Oregon Department of Transportation. It is 9,073 square feet at Southeast Third Avenue and Harrison Street.

For almost four years, R2DToo has provided shelter on Burnside Street at Northwest Fourth Avenue, at the entrance to Old Town/Chinatown. An estimated 70 people per night stay there, and organizers say more than 200 people found housing while being supported at the site. The rest area for Portland’s houseless population has proven to be an effective model for a self-governing operation. However, the land upon which it sits is under contract to be sold.

Staff for Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Amanda Fritz have been seeking an alternative site for well over a year. Issues under consideration include the size of the property, proximity to social services and to transit, and the impact on neighbors.

“Right to Dream has proven that it can be a good neighbor,” Hales said. “Our Central Precinct police officers confirm that the site is well managed. But it cannot stay at its current location, and we need to find them a new home.”

The purchase of the new site is pending. A timeline for a move is not yet known. A purchase agreement could be ready for City Council consideration by the end of May. Funding provided by the Pearl District Investors, for a 2014 property sale, will be used to pay for the new property.

“I’m happy the city has worked with Right to Dream Too board members to review many options for new locations, and that we’ve settled on this one,” Fritz said. “Right to Dream Too provides a valuable community service, keeping people living outside safe and sheltered.”

In seeking the site, staff for Mayor Hales and Commissioner Fritz have spoken to the leadership of the Central Eastside Industrial Council, Hosford Abernethy Neighborhood Development and surrounding businesses.

While R2DToo has proven effective, Hales emphasizes that Portland – like all cities in the nation – will continue to struggle with issues of homelessness.

“We have made Housing one of our top budget priorities in 2013, 2014 and again this year. It is a priority of Multnomah County. And yet, on any given night, we may have 1,700 homeless people living unsheltered in our city,” Hales said. “Homelessness is a crisis at the city, state and national level. Any aid we can provide for people who are houseless, or who are at risk of becoming houseless, will remain our priority.”

(Press Release from Portland’s Mayor’s Office 4/29/2015)

by: Marie Deatherage

Free Health Fair April 26th

Posted: April 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

For more information:

Health Care Equity Week

May Day 2015

Posted: April 21, 2015 in In Solidarity!

This May 1st, community organizations, labor advocacy groups, unions, and supporters aim to march and rally to commemorate International Workers’ Day by highlighting issues of poverty wages, homelessness, wage theft, foreclosures, unemployment, racial and gender inequality, the need for a just and humane immigration reform, climate change and other affects of the systemic attack on working people.

“The gap between the haves and the have-nots continues to widen as corporate control of the economy grows and government corruption increases,” said Ben Marston of Unite Here, a union representing low wage hotel workers. “Our members struggle to make ends meet and often have to rely on social services such as food stamps even though they work full time. Workers are starting to fight back as we have seen recently with unions like the Portland Association of Teachers, the city workers of DCTU and the Professors at PSU who all threatened to strike in order to force good faith negotiations and a fair contract.”

According to Romeo Sosa of the immigrant rights organization Voz, “The immigrant population has always played a major role in the May Day event. Despite a growing attack on undocumented workers and their families, the community is standing strong in saying ‘no more’ to deportations that are separating children and parents.” Sosa continues, “We have collaborated with unions and community groups like Jobs with Justice and the homeless advocacy group Right 2 Dream Too. We see that our struggle against this corrupt system connects us all and that through solidarity we will become strong enough to create a new and just world.”

People will begin to gather at the South Park Blocks at 2:00 PM and the rally begins at 3:00 PM with speakers and musicians who will communicate the challenge to the community to confront issues of poverty wages, homelessness, wage theft, foreclosures, unemployment, racial and gender inequality, the need for a just and humane immigration reform, climate change and other affects of the systemic attack on working people.  At 4:30 PM a march will begin through downtown Portland and will end back at the South Park Blocks at about 5:30 PM when there will be a short wrap up rally with some entertainment and speakers.

May Day, an ancient celebration of coming of summer, became an integral part of the late-1800s labor movement fighting for an eight-hour day. Over a hundred years ago workers organized on this day to demand fair labor conditions. Today, working people are still denied basic rights, as many live in poverty, endure houselessness, food insecurity, and lack of access to health care. As we approach May Day in 2015, we recognize how immigration status, race, ethnicity, gender identity, access to education, and other personal realities intersect and affect the way workers experience a range of injustices. This year our call is to reflect on the differences, find common ground, and Rise Up In Solidarity.

Endorsed by:

Jobs with Justice, VOZ Workers Rights Education Project, Oregon Federation of Nurses & Health Professional, Local #5017, American Friends Service Committee, Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP), Healthcare for all Oregon, Democratic Socialists of America, Carpenters, SEIU 503, Don’t Shoot PDX, Black, Lives Matter, Gente Unida, AARPR, Right 2 Survive/ Right 2 Dream too, PAT, Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, 15 Now, Portland Right to the City, Mt. Hood Lodge #1005, Portland Peaceful Response Coalition, Portland Association of Teachers, Metanoia Peace Community, NATL ASSCN of letter carriers, Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice, Socialist Alternative – Portland Branch, Industrial Workers of the World, Climate Jobs Committee, ASFCME Green, 350PDX, Code Pink Portland, UNITE HERE Local 8.

Right 2 Dream

Posted: April 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

The Truth About the Sweeps

Posted: March 31, 2015 in Newsletter

by Zach

Recently there have been many sweeps in and around the Hawthorne Bridge area. Many people have reported that private security companies have engaged in these sweeps. Companies like Clean & Safe and Pacific Patrol Services have been spotted at many of these sweeps. Storing the belongings taken from the sweeps, and having private security companies do this, is against Oregon law. Specifically, ORS 203.079 Section 1) Part d) says “All unclaimed personal property shall be given to law enforcement officials whether 24-hour notice is required or not.” “Law enforcement officials” as defined by this code would be referring to the local police in our case Portland Police Bureau. Therefore, if any private companies or “Rent-a-Cops” are storing any of your property after a sweep, they are violating state law. These hired security forces are not “law enforcement” and do not have the authority as outlined in ORS 203.079.