Posts Tagged ‘homeless’

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.

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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There was good times for everyone involved. There was enough food to go around between Sisters of the Road, Food Not Bombs, and Ha Ha Now to treat everyone with happy tummies. Our entertainment went off without a hitch also due to great scheduling.Ibrahim Mubarak started the shindig as the MC introducing the FU man, Paul Boden from WRAP gave us a heart warming speech, one only a subversive anarchist guerrilla would love, and there were plenty of us out there!Bajo Salario was then introduced with Latino style of music and a message of solidarity for the issues we face today. Speeches were the next in line with people like Leo Rhodes, Lucilene Lira, and again Ibrahim. Many thanks to Shoehorn for bringing his very coordinated styling of sax and tap dance to this event, now that’s entertainment! Mic Crenshaw funked it up with many of his original music favorites that had everybody up singin’ and groovin’.Topping the evening off with the eclectic vids from the B Media Collective. Fun that makes you think. One of their selection was a unreleased work in progress about R2S/R2DToo. Can’t wait for the premiere!Security had very fewer problems with coordination this year, and not a lot of police interaction ( you think their getting used to us?) It went pretty smoothly in all.

By Brad

 

This years pitch a tent theme with Sweepless Nights. Know your Rights. We want to thank the following people and organization for their continued support and dedication to Right 2 Survive. 

Paul Boden from Western Regional Advocacy Project.
The Oregon Homeless Bill of Rights
Bajo Salario/Collective Band
Shoehorn
Chill Will 
Michael Crenshaw 
Bmedia Colectivo 
Food Not Bombs
Sisters of the Road
HAHA

Thank you to Sisters in Strength for setting up the Red tents and for the gift bags filled with many amazing and useful items that we can use.

The Humanity Hub & Occupy PDX
Adam Carpinelli/Fingerpaint Afrojazz
The Dreamers at Right to dream too. 
All the volunteers before, after and during the event. 
Thank you to Mark J Hofheins Jr. from UCARE-United Coalition Against Repression for recapping pitch a tent with this video. 

Check out the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRMEtyrnCMo

Check out our pictures here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.472731846194313.1073741839.394628954004603&type=1

 

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Here is a video of the work we are doing with GroundWorks Portland.

Groundwork Portland is a non-profit organization that brings about sustainable, community-led improvement of the physical environment in low-income areas, while advancing environmental and social justice.

Groundwork Portland is an affiliate of Groundwork USA. Groundwork USA works with communities to improve their environment, economy and quality of life through local action by getting local residents, businesses, government and other organizations involved in practical projects.

Over the last year we have been working with Groundworks to improve relationships with EPA and local community. Voice our concerns about the Superfund site, to educate the houseless community living alongside the river of the pollutants and danger of the river. Include a multi-language campaign.

We will continue outreach to the houseless community living alongside the river at least twice a month. Voicing concerns at EPA meetings,while building Groundworks Portland solidarity and support with local coalition members will prompt development of safer solutions for the environment. By reaching at least three different ethnic groups to develop appropriate language materials. More immigrants using the river to supplement their diets will know the long term harm of eating the polluted fish.

If you or your organization would like to get involved let us know. or visit http://www.groundworkportland.org/programs/urban-water/phcc/ or http://www.ourfutureriver.org/

by Street Roots Staff | 21 Jan 2013
Street Roots editorial

Imagine a village that, due to circumstances beyond its borders, had several thousand people living without housing.

In response, the village established an array of services and shelter for its citizens. Over time it became clear that the services offered were simply not enough to maintain individuals and families needs. Those who could not take care of themselves began to fall through the cracks. Many of the disabled and elderly scrambled to obtain services. People dealing with mental health problems were left out in the cold. Families trying to stay together did everything in their power to maintain a dignified life despite their circumstances. In one year, 47 people without shelter died.

In response to the crisis a group of citizens created their own makeshift refuge. Installing tents and canopies on a plot of land to better serve those without shelter, the small group created a safe place for people to exist until services became available.

Many people in the village who had no resources and cared for the poor believed the group’s actions were justified and held them up as heroes. Others believed the group to be rogue and an eyesore for the community.

Villagers were conflicted. On one hand, the group was creating a safe place for people to be. The group was orderly and maintained basic principles and standards that held people accountable. On the other hand, the group was unconventional, and viewed as an obstruction to progress and new development that would help increase the livability for the rest of the village.

To make matters more complicated, the owner of the plot of land where the refuge was set up was seen as a villain by the village’s leaders and many in the public eye.

In the end, the refuge was deemed illegal and fined for existing. The group responded by suing the village through a democratic process to be allowed to exist. Those who believed the group should be disbanded or moved out of the public’s eye began to organize against the group, putting public pressure on the village leaders to take care of the situation.

Village leaders sent mixed messages. Some believed the group was doing good work. Some exalted its work during local elections as being a solution, while others either ignored or worked to disband the group by demanding the one thing it didn’t have: money. There were no clear outcomes or leadership toward a compromise, splitting public opinion and giving people on all sides of the issue anxiety over what the solution might actually be.

Over time people grew tired and weary, especially during the cold, hard winter months — both at the refuge and in the village. Some took it as a sign of hope for the people without shelter, while others grew cynical and believed that nothing good would come of the situation.

The village is Portland, Oregon, and the refuge is Right 2 Dream Too, a tent city created to serve people experiencing homelessness. The City of Portland should work to find a solution.

Thanks to all who help R2DToo work! Donations help shelter, feed, clothe people.
While we appreciate everything that is so generously given, right now monetary donations would be the most helpful.
We don’t pay rent exactly, but we do have regular expenses. Money contributed will help us pay for taxes, utilities, porta-potty service, laundry and more. Our expenses run about $1500/month.
Anything you have from 25 cents to $2500 is appreciated.
For $100 you can “buy a door” and paint it with quotes or art or messages of support.
To make a donation contact Dale Hardway or Ibrahim Mubarak or Amber Dunks through FB or at R2DToo. Checks can be made out to Right 2 Dream Too and mailed to:
4635 NE Garfield Ave, Portland OR 97211
With gratitude and in solidarity.

For Immediate Release

Ibrahim Mubarak

503-839-9992

or

Leo Rhodes

503-936-2665

Email: r2spdx@gmail.com

Right 2 Survive and Right 2 Dream Too protest opening of community court in multi-million dollar homeless facility

 “You shouldn’t have to plead guilty in order to get housing or services.” says Leo Rhodes.  “There is funding attached to criminalizing the houseless.”

 PORTLAND, OR – May 4th, 2012- Members of Right 2 Survive and the Right 2 Dream Too rest area, will protest the opening of a community court in the Bud Clark Commons at 1pm on Friday, May 4th.

 “People are being told that there is no funding for housing, but they are making people think that if they go into court and plead guilty there is a possibility of getting housing.” says Rhodes, a homeless advocate who has been cited for sleeping outside.

Over the past year, the Western Regional Advocacy Project has led a survey effort with its grassroots members and allies in Portland, OR, Berkeley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA, Denver, CO, Houston, TX, and Worcester, MA documenting homeless people’s experiences with the criminal justice system for survival-related “crimes.” More than three-quarters of survey respondents (78 percent) reported being harassed, cited or arrested by police officers for sleeping outside. Seventy-five percent reported the same for sitting or lying down, and 76 percent for loitering or simply “hanging out.” These were by far the top crimes for which homeless people were charged. A sad corresponding fact is that only one quarter of respondents (25 percent) believed that they knew of safe, legal places to sleep.

 “What they’re doing with this homeless court is taking away a population’s right to due process, which is unconstitutional”, says Amber Dunks of Right 2 Dream Too.  “What’s worse is that agencies that are supposed to be supporting the unhoused are behind this.”

 

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Right 2 Survive is an organization led by unhoused, and formerly unhoused individuals.  R2S is dedicated to educating houseless people and their allies about their human, civil, and constitutional rights.  R2S works to empower unhoused people and their allies to take action against laws, policies and practices that criminalize people for survival activities

Right 2 Dream Too exists to awaken social and political groups to the importance of safe and undisturbed sleep. Our purpose is to create a place where unhoused people can rest or sleep without being rousted by police or private security and without being under the constant threat of violence. We hope to create a cost-effective, self-sustaining model that can be replicated elsewhere.