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.


Lesson to Learn

Posted: March 31, 2015 in Newsletter

By: Ibrahim Mubarak

I Ibrahim wind down from a hard day’s work by watching a movie. Sometimes I watch the Propaganda News media. I happened to be watching Channel 8 KGW News when they were talking about a new crime spree that’s been happening in Portland Oregon.  People’s bikes are being stolen at a high rate. Bike thieves are even going so far as to saw through the bike stands that the bikes are locked onto.

What I saw on the News was a camera man sneaking up on a group of homeless people fixing their bikes (I admit they had a few bikes). The man behind the camera was asking them and kept asking them what were they doing, and if those were stolen bikes that they were taking apart. The news reporter made it seem like the houseless people were the thieves who go around town stealing bikes. All I could hear in response was “get that f–king camera out of my face”. Who says that they didn’t find the bike parts?

So what is happening is that now the Police have come up with a Bike Task Force they go around asking people if they have a receipt for their bike (so, if you can’t produce it, they will confiscate your bike until you can produce proof). Now who in the name of common sense carries around a f–king receipt? I’ve had my bike for five years, and I sure don’t know where my receipt is. I believe that we should do a Direct Action and protest against this unjust imposed law that is targeting the houseless communityeveryone gather in a large group and ask the Police if THEY have a receipt for THEIR bikes!!

Be very careful. I’m just saying it’s not even safe for us to have transportation. They are trying to stop our movements. Do they ask the HOUSED people for a receipt? I’m just saying. . .


A Farewell Thank You

By: Dawn*

Being a member of R2DToo, or “Dreamer” as we call ourselves   I like the people I’ve met, and I’ll miss a lot of the overnighters, as you can’t help but get attached to people when you see them daily.  Being here gave me a safe place to stay instead of being in a park, and not sleeping for fear of harassment.  My son and I used to ride the train around all day, for a safe place to be during the day.  Being here gave us the time to find a place that we would be accepted; because of my son’s history, finding a safe and affordable place to be is really hard.  I’ll really miss everyone at Right 2 Dream Too, and am very grateful to everyone for all they have done for us.  Thanks to R2DToo, we have gotten our place and are moving in on Friday March 20 at 4.

*Dawn and her son are the 214th and 215th people, who have stayed at and utilized Right 2 Dream Too, that have found housing.


R2S Goes to Tucson

By: Lisa Fay

Earlier this month (March 2015), with the help of believers from GoFundMe and a grant from the MRG Foundation, Right 2 Survive (R2S) was welcomed back to Tucson, Arizona to work with leaders of Right 2 Dream, Tucson and Safe Park. While there, we engaged in meetings to discuss the next steps on their plans for making the future brighter for the houseless folks down there.

We and local activists spoke at a meeting, held by the city of Tucson, to come up with solutions that would work for all of Tucson’s downtown dwellers. Also present were local business owners, shelter heads, and the Diocesan Bishop. In that meeting, discussions around housing, as well as traffic of houseless in front of businesses, were of great concern. R2S shared a power point of five of the tent cities and rest areas in Oregon and of other working models from around the countryall of which are low cost temporary solutions to houselessness that can be implemented and maintained using self-governance, while alleviating costs to the city and surrounding businesses.

We also attended a federal court hearing that ruled that sleeping in “pods” in a public space as a means of “Free Speech Protest” is a City matter and is to be determined by the City, not a federal judge. The City of Tucson responded swiftly. Within 3 hours of the ruling, the City had police officers posting eviction notices on all the sleep pods that lined the sidewalks in the Safe Park area. Folks were given 3 days to move their sleep pods and tents, or these would be confiscated. The police brought out the mental health task force to evaluate folks; and if they wanted, they could go into a mental health facility immediately, but (the mental health task force) couldn’t provide any social service assistance.

Sadly, for the estimated 3,000 unhoused residents, Tucson is considering adopting Denver’s harsh sidewalk ordinances that strictly controls the houseless movements in their public areas, and infringe on their Civil, Constitutional and Human Rights. R2S spoke about the Houseless Bill of Rights Campaign with interested parties, and helped folks understand the need for protection from criminalization based on housing status. In Arizona, certain felonies prevent folks from receiving any type of public assistance (i.e. food stamps, health care, welfare and housing assistance).

R2S also used the time to do interviews for their radio show (that airs on KBOO 90.7fm), and video recorded some of the things they witnessed. The radio interviews will air on April 8th @ 6pm. The videos will take some time to edit and format. We will let everyone know when they are finished, and they will be found here:

Some follow-up from the removal of the pods from downtown: Temporarily, they have a place, and folks can still stay protesting for their rights on the downtown streets of Tucson. Meetings, like the ones we participated in with community leaders, are still going on to find answers. Open dialogue is critical!

Next stop: R2S’s Ibrahim Mubarak, Ptery Light, and Faduma (from Groundworks Portland) are off to Denver for a national conference on houselessness to be attended by Activist and Critical thinkers from East to West coasts with the intent to unify organizations across the country who are all doing similar work, and to create a national network that addresses the injustices that the houseless struggle with as a community.

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Image  —  Posted: March 29, 2015 in Newsletter

March Newsletter

Posted: March 20, 2015 in Newsletter

My name is Rod

By: Rod

I want to thank R2DToo for allowing me to become a member and supporter. I also believe in R2DToo and thank them for helping out the community, giving shelter for those who need it, feeding and clothing people here at R2DToo as well as on The Under the Bridge Walk.

I also want to thank the people who donate food and clothes to us. Also, a big thank you to John, who donates his time and truck to help us in washing our sleeping bags. And Max the wonder dog. Thank you all!

Houseless Breathing Study

By: Aurora

It’s damp; the dew turns to mold quick if you’re not airing the tent out on a daily. That black mold can be harmful and easily be treated by getting one simple breathing test.

Maybe even all that exposure to the other elements of living outside has you breathing less efficiently? You don’t even have to go to the doctors or have health care to find out.

Right 2 Dream Too is doing a study to see how being houseless affects your breathing. Signups to participate (on Friday) can be done at the security desk, located at NW 4th and Burnside. A half hour process (that is anonymous) can give you an idea of your lung function. It’s as simple as inhaling and exhaling; and a follow up about the results can be made.

Come and see the results, you may breathe easier afterwards knowing them.


We Deserve It

By: Jerry

As a houseless man, I get stuck in the stereotype of being a drug addict and an alcoholic; however, I am neither. People see me, my wife, and our dog and assume that we are trouble based on our looks- which consist of tattoos, piercings and of course, a Mohawk. But the reality is we aren’t.

As a kid I was always told not to judge a book by its cover, yet people so easily do. Just because we are houseless does not mean we are lazy, criminals, addicts, or anything less than human. We are still people. We still have needs, wants, and dreams. We, although temporarily houseless, still deserve the dignity and respect that all human beings desire. We are no different than the suits that swarm city hall in a hurry to get nowhere. In the end, aren’t we all just mice in a maze looking for our piece of heavenly cheese?

New in Town

By: Sarah, Jerry and Ryker

Life is not always kind, and it is rarely fair. For my husband and I, it had been pretty amazing until a dis-heartful, bitter woman stumbled across our path. Our lives took a downward spiral from productive, housed people to broke and street bound in a matter of minutes. Our lives have been shattered and every possession lost; but as we have always said, we always have each other.

We wound up lost in a crazy new place with only one recommendation, R2DToo. As we walked up to the doors, terrified that we would be turned away because of our 70 pound pit bull, we were surprised to see people who cared. People took the time to answer every question and help relieve some of our fears. Working through the line to sleep was stressful and confusing, but we were welcomed with open minds, open hearts, and open arms.

Right to Dream Too has opened its doors to us, and our minds and hearts, to the amazing organization that so easily welcomed us. R2DToo has given us a helping hand when we fell, an encouraging word when we were down, and the dreams to know that this is just a moment in time and a step closer to our goals.

When we thought all was lost and no one cared, strangers welcomed us and became our friends. We will be forever grateful for everything that R2DToo has given us. Thank you all so much!

Jackson, Mississippi

By: Ibrahim

I Ibrahim had the privilege to go to Jackson, Mississippi on the week of May 3rd to the 7th of 2014. What I thought it would be and what it actually was were very different. The City itself was like a ghost town, same as Detroit. I saw very few people, except where the Jackson Rising event was and at the National Planning Committee for the United States Social Forum.

As I do, when I go to new places, I walk around the city looking for houseless people or houseless camp sites. I saw a couple of guys, and we talked. However, it was brief. They were in a hurry to go eat; and as we were departing, ones ask if I had a card and said they need help with the houseless community in Jackson, Mississippi.

I arrived on the last day of the Jackson Rising Conference, and saw some people that I met in my travels. We had conversations, and came up with one thing (and I hope this is safe to say ‘cause I’m saying it anyway): Why is it all the CC’s (Chocolate Cities) like Detroit Mi. Jackson, MS. have no funding? Why aren’t there any grocery stores around in the inner part of the city? Conclusion is, we need to stop all this talking and start doing something.

Right to Rest Act

By: Trish

After years of fighting for a bill, we finally have gotten our Homeless Bill of Rights, Senate Bill 629! If this bill passes, it will give every houseless individual several rights, including the right to sleep undisturbed without worry of being harassed by private security and police. It will also allow people to cover themselves, as well as sleep in their vehicles, as long as they are legally parked.

Oregon, California, and Colorado are three states that are trying to get bills passed, although Oregon is the only state with a bill this year. We are extremely grateful to Senator Chip Shields who is our champion, and backed this very important bill for us. Thank you Senator Shields.


How You Can Write a Newsletter Article

By: Zach

Hey you. If you are reading this, chances are you have just received a copy of the Right 2 Survive biweekly newsletter or you are reading this on our Facebook or blog. Every two weeks we get individuals from in and around the houseless community to share their stories on events, issues, concerns, actions and experiences that occur in our community. Our newsletter articles can come from anybody, anywhere, not just from people involved in Right 2 Dream Too and Right 2 Survive.

I was unsure if people who read the newsletter, on our Under the Bridges Walk, were aware they could also write in the newsletter as well; and so as the Bridges Walk Coordinator, I wanted to tell people that they can also share their stories too. If you need something to write about, look at your local neighborhood. How is your neighborhood association treating houseless people? Are there cops harassing houseless folks in your area? Have you been directly targeted? Have there been camping notices put up? Do you know of any events or actions coming up? Do you know of any meetings or organizations you or someone you know are a part of and want to speak about them?

If you or someone you know has any of these experiences, we encourage you to share them with us. By sharing these experiences we can all better understand each other, know what our common struggles are, and be in a position to stand in stronger solidarity with one another. That is what this newsletter stands for.

You can submit your article to Right 2 Survive by the 1st and 3rd Mondays by 5pm, the day before the bridge walk. You can also submit them to the front desk at Right 2 Dream Too at NW 4th & Burnside (or ask about how you can use our computers to type an article). If an article doesn’t make it into our newsletter, we will try to put it our next newsletter or in our blog.

Your stories will be greatly appreciated! We would love to hear and share the truth on the streets. Spread the word!