Posts Tagged ‘Right 2 Dream Too’


For more episodes, visit: Re-Imagining the American Dream- Sohana Web-Series

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)

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




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:
Anne T.
Blue Butterfly Imports
Common Ground Wellness
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
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
Jeremy Cutting

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


Check out the rest of the pictures here:


“I.B.: What’s the answer for Right 2 Dream Too?

C.H.: I think the answer is a different site that is a good place to live that doesn’t have the friction that that site has. I was on the council when we approved the creation of Dignity Village. It is clearly a success.

It seems to me that Right 2 Dream Too is on the way to being that kind of sustainable, self-managed community. It’s not in the right location on the corner of Fourth and Burnside. I think there are partnership possibilities between organizers and residents of Right 2 Dream, property owners, other non-profits and public agencies that will lead to positive outcomes.

I went out to Dignity Village last fall. I am impressed. I’ve been to Right 2 Dream a couple of times. You see people really doing a great job, managing that enterprise for themselves. I’ve got a lot of confidence in the capacity of those folks to make this work. It’s up to the larger community, me included, to try to find a place for the camp to land that makes sense.”

Visit Street Roots to read the whole article on Mayor Hales’ views of what he proposes.


Posted by Ruthie Benjamin