Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

Safe Sleep?

Posted: October 24, 2016 in Survival
Tags: , ,

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Recorded live at KBOO on October 12, 2016

Listen here: Right 2 Survive Radio

Portland police assaulted local residents who came to City Hall to protest the Police Union contract. Right 2 Survive was there, and reports on what happened.

Additional topic: Oregon Homeless Bill of Rights

image by: Constance Spurling

image by: Constance Spurling

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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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.

A Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction For The Houseless

Saturday, May 12, 6 p.m. at SEIU Banquet Hall 6401 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97026
 
Portland, OR-Featuring the first-ever live performance of Tom Waits’ epic poem ‘SEEDS ON HARD GROUND’ by celebrated Portland Actors: Ebbe Roe Smith, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Robert Projansky, Brynn Baron, Karen Wennstrom, Penuel Corbin, Brian MacEwan and Valerie Martinka. As well as musical entertainment by activist-rapper Mic Crenshaw, who the Portland Mercury called (with the Lifesavas) “two of the very best hip-hop acts in PDX”.  Come and meet some amazing unhoused individuals who are making a difference not only in their lives but in the lives of their neighbors and community. Come enjoy a buffet style dinner, auction items, and educational materials raising awareness about the houseless community in Portland.
 
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Right 2 Dream Too on NW 4th and W. Burnside or online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/243993
For More Info or Tickets, Please Contact Sophia K. at (971) 409-0275 or kinhnarathsophia@gmail.com
Proceeds will be used to pay the fines of Right 2 Dream Too and to fund Right 2 Survive projects.
 
Right to Survive (R2S) is an organization of homeless people of circumstances, the formerly homeless, and their allies. R2S is working to ensure that everyone has the right to sleep, the right to shelter, the right to self support, the right to safety, the right to simple living, the right to sustainability, the right to sit and lie, the right to share and barter and the right say so!
 
Right 2 Dream Too (affectionately called R2D2), is a nonprofit organization operating a space where people can rest or sleep safely and undisturbed. It’s mission is to provide refuge for Portland’s unhoused community who cannot access affordable housing or shelter space.
 
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.
 
 

PORTLAND, ORE February 24, 2012–

Shortly after the horrifying shooting of two sleeping, unhoused men on Wednesday morning, the people of Right 2 Dream Too learned that at least one of the men had recently been an overnight guest at our rest area on NW 4th & Burnside. That man attempted to secure a safe place to sleep at R2DToo on Tuesday evening, but all spaces were taken by the time he arrived. Instead, he walked over the river to sleep on Belmont Street, under the Morrison Bridge, where he and his friend found shelter from the rain.

All of us at Right 2 Dream Too are grateful that both men survived the attack and hope for a speedy recovery for the man still hospitalized. People living on Portland’s streets un-sheltered are no strangers to so-called “random” acts of violence perpetrated by others who stereotype them and see them as less than human. But the degree of viciousness and inhumanity in these attacks have left have left people in our community shaken and frightened.

We support local and national efforts to include the unhoused as a protected class in existing hate crime legislation, like Oregon House Bill 2964, sponsored by Representative Michael Dembrow. The National Coalition for the Homeless, in their campaign to pass similar Federal legislation, notes that: “Hate crimes may effectively intimidate other members of the community, leaving them feeling isolated, vulnerable and unprotected by the law.” Today, that is the state Portland’s unhoused find themselves in.

We call upon Portland’s City Council to recognize that dehumanization of people experiencing homelessness exists on a continuum that begins with its own policies that target the unhoused. The Sidewalk Management Ordinance literally shoves people without shelter to the curb. The anti-camping ordinances that apply on public and private property expressly prevent the unhoused from gathering together to keep each other safe and build community.

Right 2 Survive, a group dedicated to defending the rights of people experiencing homelessness, started Right 2 Dream Too as an alternative to these dehumanizing practices, to demonstrate that those of us who are or have been unhoused can organize solutions that provide safety and shelter at no cost to taxpayers. Our project is a not a complete solution to homelessness, but we have in a few short months provided a safe place to sleep for hundreds of people who would have been on the street and provided a base for several people who have obtained permanent housing. In the face of insufficient funding for traditional shelter space, the most severe housing crisis since the Great Depression, and the overburdened and inadequate social safety net, we think it is past time for City Council to acknowledge that immediate and affordable alternatives must exist side-by-side with Portland’s long-term efforts to end homelessness. Not doing so exposes the people who Right 2 Dream Too must turn away every night for lack of space to the types of violence perpetrated against these two men last Wednesday morning. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Right 2 Dream Too provides refuge and a safe space to sleep undisturbed for Portland’s unhoused community who cannot access affordable housing or shelter. R2DToo was established on World Homeless Action Day, October 10, 2011.

Right 2 Survive is a group of houseless and formerly houseless individuals dedicated to teaching about and defending the human civil and constitutional rights of people experiencing homelessness. # # #

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 10, 2011
Contact: Ibrahim Mubarak
Email: Right2DreamToo@gmail.com
Cell: 503.839.9992

On World Homeless Day, Right 2 Dream Too is proud to announce the 1:00
PM opening of our new space at W. Burnside & NW 4th Avenue in Portland

Portland, OR — Right 2 Dream Too (R2DToo) is today establishing a
membership space at the corner of West Burnside and NW 4th Avenue, in
Portland, OR.  The purposes of the space are as follows:

•       To awaken social and political groups to the importance of safe and
undisturbed sleep.
•       To create a safe, secure place for members to be.
•       To create places where members can sleep safely and undisturbed.
•       To engage in other educational activities as the Board of Directors
shall determine.

R2DToo is a newly founded Oregon nonprofit organization supported by
members of Right 2 Survive, a group of houseless and formerly
houseless individuals dedicated to defending the human, civil and
constitutional rights of people experiencing homelessness.
R2DToo’s facility will provide refuge for Portland’s unhoused
community who cannot access the insufficient stock of affordable
housing and shelter space to rest or sleep undisturbed.  Currently,
because of city ordinances that prohibit camping on public property
and restrict people’s rights simply to sit or lie on sidewalks,
Portland’s unhoused population is frequently under tremendous stress
and unable to get the proper amount of rest.  This is one of the
principle contributing factors to the tremendous health disparities
and high morbidity rates of people experiencing homelessness in our
community.

R2DToo’s new space will also provide a safe, welcoming place for
people who daily and nightly face the threat of violence on our city
streets.  All members agree to abide by a code of conduct that
respects the rights of fellow members and our neighbors to share our
public spaces civilly and equitably.  Our space will be guided by and
adhere to principles of nonviolence.  Plans include the possibility of
providing limited storage space for members to address the need for
unhoused individuals to have a secure place for storing belongings.

R2DToo hopes to offer educational programs and other forms of mutual
support and aid as resources become available.  It is R2DToo’s
intention to take input and direction from its members in designing
programs, trainings, events and activities.  R2DToo believes that
people experiencing homelessness are the experts at surviving on the
streets and are capable of providing the essential peer support that
is currently lacking in efforts to address the homeless crisis in our
city and our country.

Ibrahim Mubarak, co-founder of Right 2 Survive, Dignity Village and
Board Member of R2DToo, says “This is a direct result of the
government’s failure to admit that we have a housing problem in this
country – not only has the government failed to admit it, it has
failed to act on it.”  The housing crisis that has come to national
attention since 2008 has deeper roots in the refusal of the Federal
government to recognize housing as a human right.  As long as this
remains the case, homelessness will not end and we must explore
alternative, cost-effective pathways for those who lack housing or who
current programs, for a variety of reasons, do not serve.  R2DToo
hopes its space and the programs it develops will serve as a model for
addressing the unmet needs of thousands of Portlanders and will
inspire others in possession of empty lots or buildings to consider
creating similar spaces.

R2DToo is accepting donations and has a wishlist of needed items at
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Right-2-Dream-Too

For

more information about R2DToo and Right 2 Survive, please visit
Right 2 Survive at https://right2survive.wordpress.com/

For

more information about World Homeless Day, please visit:
http://www.worldhomelessday.org/

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