Thursday, November 18, 2010

Women’s Warming Center opens at TPI

Portland Oregon Women’s Warming Center opens at TPI

Posted on November 17, 2010
by rocketpoetry

On the one of the worst nights of the year to date, the Women’s Warming Center will be opening tonight with a capacity of 70 women.

Women can reserve a space at the warming center by contacting Transition Projects. Women can stop by 475 NW Glisan Mon – Fri, 8:30 -7:30 PM. They can also call 503-823-4930 24 hours a day (after hours, press 5 to reach the shelter staff).
The Women’s Warming Shelter is made possible by a $180,000 grant from the Portland Housing Bureau.[ ]

In partnership with other City departments, Multnomah County and community partners, the Portland Housing Bureau coordinates Winter and Severe Weather shelter and day services for homeless individuals in our community.

For the most up-to-date information on shelter or assistance, call 211info by dialing 2-1-1. [ ] In Multnomah County, the call line is open from 8am and 10pm, Monday through Friday; and between 8am to 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information on severe weather shelter go here:

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

CALIFORNIA: When Home Has No Place to Park

Every day, Diane Butler and her husband park their two hand-painted R.V.’s in a lot at the edge of Venice Beach here, alongside dozens of other rickety, rusted campers from the 1970s and ’80s. During the day, she sells her artwork on the boardwalk. When the parking lot closes at sunset, she and the other R.V.-dwellers drive a quarter-mile inland to find somewhere on the street to park for the night.

Their nomadic existence might be ending, though. The Venice section of Los Angeles has become the latest California community to enact strict new regulations limiting street parking and banning R.V.’s from beach lots — regulations that could soon force Ms. Butler, 58, to leave the community where she has lived for four decades.

“They’re making it hard for people in vehicles to remain in Venice,” she said.

Southern California, with its forgiving weather, has long been a popular destination for those living in vehicles and other homeless people. And for decades, people living in R.V.’s, vans and cars have settled in Venice, the beachfront Los Angeles community once known as the “Slum by the Sea” and famous for its offbeat, artistic culture.

Yet even as the economic downturn has forced more people out of their homes and into their cars, vehicle-dwellers are facing fewer options, with more communities trying to push them out.

As nearby neighborhoods and municipalities passed laws restricting overnight parking in recent years, Venice became the center of vehicle dwelling in the region. More than 250 vehicles now serve as shelter on Venice streets, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

“The only place between Santa Barbara and San Diego where campers can park seven blocks from the beach is this little piece of land,” said City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose district includes Venice. “Over the years, it’s only gotten worse, as every other community along the coast has adopted restrictions.”

In the past, bohemian Venice was tolerant of vehicle-dwellers, but, increasingly, the proliferation of R.V.’s in this gentrifying neighborhood has prompted efforts to remove them.

“The status quo is unacceptable,” said Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders Association, a group of residents devoted to removing R.V.’s from the area. “It’s time to give us some relief from R.V.’s parking on our doorsteps.”

A bitter debate has raged between residents who want to get rid of R.V.’s and those who want to combat the problems of homelessness in the community by offering safe places to park and access to public bathrooms. Last year, residents voted to establish overnight parking restrictions, but the California Coastal Commission twice vetoed the plan.

However, a recent incident involving an R.V. owner’s arrest on charges of dumping sewage into the street has accelerated efforts to remove vehicle-dwellers. Starting this week, oversize vehicles will be banned from the beach parking lots; an ordinance banning them from parking on the street overnight could take effect within a month.

While Mr. Rosendahl supported parking restrictions, he has also secured $750,000 from the city to pay for a pilot program to house R.V.-dwellers. Modeled after efforts in Santa Barbara and Eugene, Ore., the Vehicles to Homes program will offer overnight parking for vehicle-dwellers who agree to meet certain conditions, with the goal of moving participants into permanent housing.

“For people who want help, we’ll support them,” Mr. Rosendahl said. “The others can take their wheels and go up the coast or somewhere else, God bless them. It’s not our responsibility to be the only spot where near-homelessness is dealt with in the state of California.”

While some have expressed interest in the program, many said they did not want to subject themselves to curfews and oversight or had no means or desire to return to renting. Mr. Ryavec believes few will participate.

“I will not debate that some people are mentally ill, indigent or drugged out,” Mr. Ryavec said. “But my stance is that the bulk of these people are making a lifestyle choice.”

Still, according to Gary L. Blasi, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an activist on homeless issues, most people choose to live in vehicles only when the alternative is sleeping in a shelter or on the street.

“The idea of carefree vagabonds is statistically false,” Professor Blasi said. “More often, these are people who lived in apartments in Venice before they lived in R.V.’s. The reason for losing housing is usually the loss of a job or some health care crisis.”

Even if all the vehicle-dwellers in Venice wanted to participate, the pilot program will accommodate only a small fraction of them. In Southern California, though, there may not be anywhere else R.V.’s can legally park. According to Neil Donovan, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, ordinances banning R.V.’s have spread from metropolitan areas into the suburbs as vehicle-dwellers venture farther afield in search of somewhere to sleep.

“Communities are now forming a patchwork of ordinances, which virtually prohibits a geographic cure to the situation,” Mr. Donovan said. “If you’re in a community and they tell you to leave, you can’t just go to the next community, because they establish similar ordinances, especially in California.”

Mr. Donovan said vehicle-dwellers often end up on the street after their vehicles are towed or become inoperable. When his organization surveyed tent camps in California, they found that many residents had come from R.V.’s.

Vehicle-dwellers in Venice are now considering their options, but few expressed any intention of leaving.

“They can keep throwing more laws at us, but we’re not just going to go away,” said Mario Manti-Gualtiero, who lost his job as an audio engineer and now lives in an R.V. “We can’t just evaporate.”

Friday, September 24, 2010

Poor Magazine/PNN

Poor Magazine/PNN:

PNN is a multi-media access project of POOR Magazine, dedicated to reframing the news, issues and solutions from low and no income communities, as well as providing society with a perspective usually not heard or seen within the mainstream media.

PNN news is generated in the Community Newsroom, and is published each week on Wednesday. If you would like to participate; email

POOR needs your help. subscription/donation
Read how to Save Co-editors Dee and Tiny"

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Houseless Resting - Portland at 3 PM

Resting and Napping
I love to take a nap in the afternoon
Those that are house-less ...."cant just take a nap"
Those with no home "cant rest"
Lets work for solutions together

Monday, September 06, 2010

World Homeless Day Sept 10



The purpose of World Homeless Day is to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness, while taking advantage of the stage an ‘international day’ provides.

The Official World Homeless Day website exists to resource local groups to take the concept of World Homeless Day and run with it to benefit homeless people locally in their area.

Note: This is an annual event on the 10th of the 10th every year.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Homeles children in Russia

Seen this page with pictres of homeles children in Russia. It was dated 2009

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

10-10-10 World Homeless Day - Portland Oregon

World Homeless Day Countdown Website


What can you do?
You may not have much to offer. But you do have something that can help.

You probably have...
• Influence in your workplace or organization.
• Friends and family you can gather.
• A skill to work with your hands.
• The ability to think creatively.
• Some time to volunteer.
• A few dollars to share.
• A smile and conversation.

Get started.
• Subscribe to our blog for new ideas and resources each week.
• Check out the Top 10 lists -- something to spark conversation.
• Spread the word by sharing this page on Twitter and Facebook.
• Share some ideas of what you could do to participate

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On the streets of Portland - Demotix News

On the streets of Portland

Life on the streets for a young woman struggling with homelessness and an addiction to heroin in Portland, Oregon, USA.

NORTH AMERICA United States Portland in Society, on the 13th of June 2010

By: Jeff Brandt
(original article is here)

After leaving her home near Toronto at age 15 due to family strife Niki has been living on the streets for 10 years. She came to Portland after meeting her 42 year old boyfriend Christian on the Internet. She says that even if they hadn’t met she probably would have still ended up in Portland. Niki goes on to explain that the pleasant climate and easy access to heroin are just a few of the things that make the area attractive to her. As she sits down to claim her usual spot outside of Michelle's on 5th , store employee Hasib Haider comes out to greet her. Hasib says he doesn’t like most of the people that set up outside of the store but Niki keeps to herself and doesn’t bother the customers.

Within a few minutes of placing an empty hat out on the sidewalk to collect change in a young lady walks by and directs insults her way, shrugging it off She tells me “ ya gotta take the good with the bad". as we spend the afternoon chatting I notice the hat she put on the sidewalk is almost full. I tell her I’m impressed With the amount of money she has in the hat, she retorts "I’m not proud of that, I’m living this way because I have to, I’m just doing what It takes to survive". She turns to me and asks what I would have done if I was put into her situation? I don’t respond because we both know the answer.

As the afternoon goes on she rolls up her sleeve to reveal the tell tale signs of a heroin addiction.
Niki see’s me looking at her track marks, she says that she has been clean for about 3 weeks. I can tell from the dried crusty blood in the crook of her arm and the fresh track marks that this is not true.This would be the last time I see her. After almost a week of searching and asking around I run into her boyfriend Christian, he tells me that in an attempt to get clean Niki has returned to her home near Toronto.

Tags addict, addiction, Drugs, heroin, heroin addict, homeless, homelessness, poverty, Street life, Streets, Homelesness, Drugs, Society

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Commissioner Deborah Kafoury | District I > News & Events > Previously Homeless Families Find Homes, Now Seek Employment

Previously Homeless Families Find Homes, Now Seek Employment

April 19, 2010


Responding to the local housing crisis for families, Multnomah County’s Board of County Commissioners approved funding in January for immediate rent assistance for 30 families to be housed in 30 days. The effort, a partnership with non-profit organizations Human Solutions and JOIN, successfully housed 34 families who were homeless. Now, these families are seeking employment.

“Securing housing for these families was the first step,” said Commissioner Deborah Kafoury, who brought this initiative to the Board of Commissioners. “Now that they have housing and their children have settled in school, a second yet critical step for the long-term stability of these families is to find a job.”

Program participants seeking employment hold a wide range of skill sets, including teaching, food service, handyman, housekeeping, construction, swim instruction, medical reception, child care, forklift driver, hairdresser, flagger, landscaper, and more. The common thread is the desire to work and care for their families.

“So many people in our community have been struggling. A simple suggestion that leads to a stable job can be the foundation for longer term success,” said Jean DeMaster, Executive Director of Human Solutions. “We hope that employers will call us with opportunities so these individuals can apply and offer their skills and experience for consideration along with other applicants. Ending homelessness in our community is a huge task, but it can be accomplished by giving homeless people the opportunities they need to become self sufficient.”

If you know of employment opportunities, please call Amie Diffenauer at Human Solutions
(503) 548-0224, email or Commissioner Kafoury’s office at (503) 988-5220.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Dignity & Dining

Dignity & Dining: "Restaurants are very often the first industry to jump to the aid of those in need. Nine out of ten restaurants are involved in some kind of charity; most donate food to shelters and food banks.
Dignity & Dining was inspired by Clifton’s Cafeteria in Los Angeles. They have been serving quality food at affordable prices, as well as free meals to those in great need, for over 70 years.
The goal of the Dignity & Dining program is to find restaurants willing to provide free, no-questions asked meals and to make this information available to the public."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Heather Lyons talks homelessness - (reposted)

Heather Lyons talks homelessness
(reposted from STREET ROOTS)
link -->

March 9, 2010
Ending homelessness starts at home. And, my most consistent home this month has been an airplane. As I write this, I am on a 5-hour and 17-minute flight from D.C. to Phoenix, where I get to sit in the airport for an hour and a half. Then, I get to sit on another “bus in the sky” from Phoenix to Portland.

I was eyeing the empty row next to me when I saw the last couple came on, with a baby in tow. I am positive their ages combined do not equal my age. Their baby, who I learn is named Bryson and is fourteen months, is very cute. Before we took off, he was flirtatious and full of smiles. But unlike a lot of kids that I see on airplanes, Bryson has an old baby t-shirt and pants that are dirty and stained, and not just little fruit juice stains. The parents, barely adults themselves, look worn, weary, and reek of cigarette smoke. The father has acne that goes on for days; the mother looks like she hasn’t been able to wash her hair in over a week. As they struggle to figure out how to use the seatbelts and ask me if they can use their cell phone after the plane takes off, it’s clear this is the first time they’ve flown.
I have a strong feeling that my petty little problems of not having extra elbowroom and travelling for nine hours paled in comparison with whatever Bryson’s family faced.

Coincidentally, I happened to be reading an article in the Atlantic about the jobless recovery, and the reason I was travelling from DC was because of a meeting to help shape the national strategic plan for ending and preventing chronic homelessness. While it may not be obvious, particularly the chronic homeless part, I believe the two are inextricably part of Bryson’s family future.

Later in the flight, I strike up a conversation with Bryson’s dad, who talks about his life very openly. I have a feeling that he has talked about his situation so many times it seems normal to share so much to a complete stranger. Turns out that he isn’t Bryson’s “real” dad, and that he was in foster care for 10 years. Because of that, he wants to “do right” by the kid because he was left on his own too much. Sadly, this means when Bryson gets just a little cranky he says even louder to him to STOP and pats him hard on his rear because, as he tells him, “he is almost two and needs to stop being coddled.” I ask if they want a break, and take Bryson for a walk, and they say no. I realize they probably don’t want a stranger holding their kid. Though, I’m almost positive that 90 percent of the women around them wanted to grab Bryson and do the same.

And then the dad tells me they are going to Anchorage because that’s where his mom is and when I ask where, he says he doesn’t know but that it’s about four hours from the city and he is looking forward to it because at least he hears there are jobs there. He had dropped out of school, so he needs to make money, and he says again, “to do right by my family.”

The Atlantic article on the jobless recovery has this to say about chronic unemployment in young families – “… the stresses and distractions that afflict unemployed parents also afflict their kids, who are more likely to repeat a grade in school, and who on average earn less as adults. Children with unemployed fathers seem particularly vulnerable to psychological problems.” And this – “By the time the average out-of-wedlock child has reached the age of 5, his or her mother will have had two or three significant relationships with men other than the father. … This kind of churning is terrible for children — heightening the risks of mental-health problems, troubles at school, teenage delinquency, and so on – and we’re likely to see more and more of it, the longer this malaise stretches on.”

At the meeting in D.C., a group of us, when asked what we thought it would take to end chronic homelessness, responded resoundingly — supportive housing. It’s a no-brainer. Then we were asked what prevents chronic homelessness, a little more difficult. One answer resounds with me as I think of Bryson. Norm Suchar from the National Alliance to End Homelessness said, “If we want to prevent homelessness, then we need to make sure that every person who exits the foster care system is guaranteed not to be homeless.” Exactly. Though, clearly not easy to implement, it’s a good starting point. The foster care system is the best intervention point we have for preventing homelessness, including and especially chronic homelessness.

Bryson’s dad takes him to change his diaper, and I look over and see his mom who has a few minutes alone for the first time and who has said maybe five words this whole trip. She’s put her head in her hands and she is crying.

It’s hard to hold hope when faced, head on, with one of the overall contributing factors of homelessness, poverty. Not just poverty of money, but poverty of people’s promise, and children’s promise like Bryson’s, and earlier, Bryson’s dad, and probably Bryson’s mom, too.

The 10-year plans to end homelessness that so many communities embraced, including Portland, focused on ending chronic and street homelessness. While there were many provisions to open the door for ending family homelessness, the solutions, save for a few, generally did not, and do not, get to the heart of the problem.

I think of 10 years and sometimes think how arbitrary that seems now. Especially as Portland and other communities are looking at mid-term updates to plans to end homelessness. Then I think of Bryson’s dad, and imagine his 10 years in foster care. Then I wonder when people who lead, politically and bureaucratically, will make the connections and do the right thing and not the expedient thing. When will people start making systemic changes to give chronically poor, un- and underemployed, and unhealthy families opportunities so that Bryson does not have the same experience that his “now” dad had? If that doesn’t happen, no matter the greater economic issues of our time, we will never prevent future generations of homelessness and chronic homelessness.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

NASNA Street Newspaper National Meeting

In order to build power and strength in cities where local street newspapers operate, the North American Street Newspaper Association must build support from a broad and diverse community throughout North America.

We are asking individuals, non-profit organizations and businesses to sign on to the NASNA declaration to support local street papers to:

- Provide thousands of individuals experiencing poverty and homelessness to gain immediate income and dignity through the sales of street newspapers
- Provide an avenue of free speech and to give voice to people experiencing homelessness and poverty
- Build a movement that encourages independence and dignity among people experiencing homelessness and poverty
- To deliver journalism, commentary and unique perspectives on homelessness and poverty to build the political will necessary to fight poverty and homelessness in North America
- To build quality relationships with people experiencing homelessness and the housed community through grassroots media

Together, we can build a movement of lasting change through grassroots media and offering individuals on the streets a dignified manner to gain income. Together, we can make a difference. Show your support and sign on today!

Your Name (required / please sign the petition)
~joe anybody

Friday, March 05, 2010

Housing Discussion - Housing Protests and Displacement:

An Event on Housing Tonight!

author: Judy Fleming

Portland Indy media Link:

Public Social University: The latest in a series of public education forums, Public Social University will explore HOUSING in its myriad forms and facets in a series consisting of several parts. Come to learn from Community Alliance of Tenants, Marc Lakeman and residents of Dignity Village, Brendan Phillips and Julio Vascuez from Sisters of the Road, and three speakers from NO Vacancy project.
Part 1: Approaching Space and Place

Friday March 5th, 2010
SEA Change Gallery
625 NW Everett #110 Portland, Oregon

A Free All Ages Event Featuring the Following Presentations and Discussions:

Housing Protests and Displacement:
Brendan Phillips and Julio Vasquez of Sisters of the Road will share their experiences during the WRAP (Western Regional Advocacy Project) protest, which took place in San Francisco, CA on January 20th. They marched for housing rights and against 'crimes of status' to Nancy Pelosi's office.

Know Your Rights:

With CAT (Community Alliance of Tenants) representative Erica Boreman. Erica will explore the history of CAT, renter's rights, and the legislative side of housing.

Utilizing Vacant Space:
NO Vacancy project presentation of the what, who, why and how of using vacant spaces in Portland, legally. Facilitating this discussion are Becky Dann, Brianna Meier and CEIC (Central Eastside Industrial Council) Executive Director Terry Taylor.

Drink Tea with City Repair:
Share stories with the folks from City Repair, who work lovingly to make our city better place, and have had a hand in founding Dignity Village.

About Public Social University:
Public Social University began in 2008 as a collaborative project in Harrell Fletcher's Art & Social Practice class at Portland State University. The first three Public Social University events were loosely organized forums for idea and skill sharing at Portland Oregon's Central Public Library. In 2009, Public Social University organized free/all ages events in Portland art galleries: Food, Water, Apocalypse, Friendship, Healing, and Oral Histories, presenting attendees with the best array of workshops, discussions, presentations and activities on the respective themes as possible. Culled from Portland's diverse community, artists, experts, and academicians alike volunteered their time, knowledge and energy. Additionally, Public Social University Co-Directors Rozzell Medina and Judy Fleming installed exhibits in Portland's MK and White Galleries, organized a free/all ages community event in San Francisco's Dolores Park, and won November's STOCK Grant.


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Portland Business Alliance against homeless

-------- CLICK Here FOR ORIGINAL LINK ---------

Portland Business Alliance against homeless
These are the businesses that are against the homeless and support the police sweeps and the elimination of fareless square...

The Allison Inn and Spa
American Family Insurance
Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects
Ashforth Pacific
Ash Grove Cement Company
Associated Business Systems
Aurora Industrial Automation
Automatic Data Processing, Inc.
Avalon Hotel & Spa
Azumano Travel/
American Express
Ball Janik LLP
Benson Industries
Best Buy - Cascade Station
Best Buy - Jantzen Beach
Big Belly Solar
Bradwood Landing LLC
Brooks Brothers
Brooks Staffing
Capacity Commercial Group
Cintas Corporation
Coast Office Products, Inc.
Columbia State Bank
CommonWealth Properties Management Service
The Daily Grill
Davis Wright Tremaine
DeAngelo Brothers Incorporated
DePaul Industries
Dex R.H. Donnelley
Dunn Carney Allen Higgins & Tongue
Dynamic Consulting
El Hispanic News
Emerson Hardwood Group
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
EnviroMedia Social Marketing
Ferguson Wellman Capital Management
First Tech Credit Union
Franz Family Bakeries
Governor Hotel
Hewlett-Packard (HP)
Hitachi Consulting
The Holland Inc.
Hotel deLuxe
Hotel Lucia
Inkwell Creative
InterWorks, LLC
Kalberer Company
KGW Northwest Newschannel 8
KPFF Consulting Engineers
LA Fitness
Lauro Kitchen
M Financial Group
Maxim Integrated Products
Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission
Athletic Club
Nel Centro
Norris, Beggs & Simpson Companies
North Pacific
Northwest Boardroom, LLC
Northwest Pipe Co.
Opus Northwest LLC
Oregon Institute of Technology
Oregon LNG
The Parcel Place
Perkins Coie LLP
Portland Development Commission
Portland Marriott City Center
Portland Spirit River Cruises
RBC Wealth Management
REC Solar
S.D. Deacon Corp. of Oregon
Saks Fifth Avenue
Salishan Spa and Golf Resort
Sealy Mattress Co.
Shorenstein Realty Services
Signs Now Northwest
Sinju - Pearl District
Southwest Airlines
TMT Development
Tonkon Torp LLP
Travel Vaccinations
United Pipe & Supply Co.
Warner Pacific College
The Westin Portland
Wieden & Kennedy
Willamette Management Associates

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Street Roots Hits The Nail on the Head - Damn The Torpedoes"

Editorial: So much happens and nothing changes


February 18, 2010 · 2 Comments
The story goes: Police shoot an unarmed individual. The district attorney handpicks evidence, often without key witnesses. The grand jury declines to indict¬. The community responds with sadness, then anger. The police say they need more money to correct the problem. City Hall does damage control. The media delivers the play-by-play. The community speaks of coalition building. A series of rallies happen. City Hall and the police get sued in civil court. The city doles out hundreds of thousands of dollars to the victims family. Ultimately, nothing changes.

What makes the shooting of Aaron Cambell different? We’re not sure anything. Street Roots has been around for 11-years. In that time, four unarmed individuals have been shot and killed in controversial scenarios by the Portland Police Bureau.

Of course, with both Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton becoming involved, the energy does seem higher. Both the Mental Health Association of Portland, and the Portland Skanner have come out and said to their communities that in a time of crisis, don’t call the police. That’s pretty bold. And to be honest, Street Roots doesn’t disagree.

For many years, regardless of violence, SR has worked to take care of its own problems, knowing full well that if the police are involved, there’s a chance something bad may occur. Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t call the police at times (very rarely), or have an open relationship with them, or respect officers, because we do. But the reality is the bureau treats us more as adversaries than as an organization that works to stabilize poor folk on street corners.

Take the case of Sisters Of The Road, which is more or less being targeted by the police (see our front page story on the situation). The organization has been reprimanded by the bureau for having too many calls for service to their corner, and for the drug activity in Old Town around the block it inhabits. After 30 years of service helping the people who need help the most, at a time when drugs and violence on the streets are as bad or worse than when Sisters opened, it is now all Sisters’ fault. The organization is under a screw, yet there is no public oversight of the police and City Hall which has lost control of what the bureau does.

Stakeout operations on the homeless for infractions such as jaywalking. Moving poor people from one hot spot to another when the needed housing doesn’t exist. City Hall that time and again backs down to the police while people’s civil rights are ignored, knowing full well that criminal records are a major reason why many people can’t access housing. The list goes on and on. And honestly, down here on the block, no one is listening to the message anymore — not on these issues anyway.

How does this relate to Aaron Campbell? We are all connected, yet as we choose to act in a vacuum, all of our communities are ignored, discredited and harped upon for calling the shots as we see them.

What we see is a city that continues to target the homeless, minorities, the mentally ill, and in this case, an individual who was shot in the back and left for up to 40 minutes before medical responders are called in, long after the individual is dead. With this attitude you are more or less saying to us we are animals. And we’re damn tired of it. We want a fair playing field. We want peace. And we want justice.


2 responses so far ↓

Candice comments // February 19, 2010 at 10:07 am
Well said.

joe anybody comments // February 24, 2010 at 10:10 am

Excellent summary and assessment.
The wheel just keeps spinning around.
We want Change, Respect, Dignity, Civil Rights, and Justice. (not more spin)

It seems the city / police are at direct odds with the poor and those needing “help” in Portland.

Where is our city leaders going to “lead us?”
If it is not down a road to Justice & Peace then, lets be really clear….. “I’m Not Going!”

Damn the torpedo’s!

I stand in the light by my brothers and sisters.

If the city leadership and the police are against us (we the people) and continue to harass, jail and kill those who wont “do as they say” it leaves us all with one obvious option … and its not a good one.

But at least it will be crystal clear: “What side you are on?” ….and for me it is a “no brainier!”

This all is certainly a tragedy, and is compounded even worse when leaders and authority criminalize & IGNORE the people they were hired to serve and protect. Respect was once considered to be a two way street.

“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

Leave a Comment on Street Roots Website Here:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Homeless Vet - Written by Vietnam Vet

Homeless Vet In America

In war,
what happens in the field,
stays in the field.
It never happened.
Everything is a cover up,
to protect the public back home.
As the years go by,
veterans become homeless in the mind.
Their lives become classified,
to make room for the next generation.
It's all about lies,
and the betrayal that destroyed a generation.
A Vietnam vet friend hung himself in a motel room.
Another one died homeless on the streets.
Then there was the unexplained car accident that
killed another vet friend.
All of them had honorable discharges from the military.
All of them dishonorably destroyed by the U.S. Government.
Everything is a cover up.
What happens after the war,
stays in the field.
It never happened.
The whole war was a war crime.
That is the deep dark secret that absolutely
has to be kept from the American public.
Here rests in silence,
an American veteran know but to God.

Mike Hastie
U.S. Army Medic
Vietnam 1970-71
February 10, 2010

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Homelessness Doesn't Have to Be a Death Sentence by Noah Jennings

Homelessness Doesn't Have to Be a Death Sentence
by Noah Jennings

categories: Health, Innovation, Stories From The Streets

Published February 02, 2010 @ 04:24PM PT

As I write this post, I spot a client across the street who will likely die soon. All the signs point to this possibility: the substance abuse issues, an absent network of support, a fear of shelters and closed spaces because of trauma, being HIV positive, the cold winter -- the list goes on. All this fits with what we know about homelessness: for many people, it's fatal.

If that's not shocking, please read it again: when you see the chronically homeless, you're very likely looking at someone who's dying. That's not melodrama. It's fact.

Because of this, I was positively thrilled to read about new efforts in Hartford, Connecticut. There, as in an increasing number of cities, outreach workers have made use of the Vulnerability Index, a method of strengthening support for the homeless by targeting those who need help immediately.

What's happening in Hartford is inspiring. There, armed with questionnaires and a willingness to make real contact with their clients, outreach workers set out to find homeless people and ask about health history, resources, times homeless and so on. All of this is done with an eye toward determining how dangerous it is for each individual to be on the streets. This evidenced-based approach can influence the number of nights a client is offered at a given shelter, or may even result in the homeless person securing housing more quickly.

Those utilizing the Index have discovered that many of their homeless are without housing "comma-but." In other words, there are resources available to them (comma but) they don't know about them. Some of the examples might include a veteran who only needs transportation to the Veterans Affairs office to complete that final interview, or a disabled woman who, with the right advocacy, could get her benefits and a housing voucher more quickly. Imagine it: more homeless could get housed if we put resources into finding out what precisely they need to stay alive.

And that's what's revolutionary about the Vulnerability Index. By placing homelessness within the context of public health, it makes the need to strengthen communication with street communities one of dire consequence.

If you're surprised this isn't already implemented everywhere, I share your disbelief. The truth is that much of what we do for the homeless isn't based on evidence or direct feedback from clients. It's best guesses all around. That plus the lack of awareness among the general population that homelessness is in large part a public health issue means that the people who need help most are the people most often left behind. But if we're to believe the statistics, use of the Vulnerability Index is a reform we can't afford to ignore. One study notes that the average age of death for those without shelter is just 48.

What this means is that if you're homeless for too long in America, you can expect to die about 30 years before your time. Whether that remains a reality is up to us.

If you're interested in introducing the Vulnerability Index to your community, please check out the resources at Common Ground here:

Monday, February 01, 2010

Homeless Sit Lie Sharing Sidewalks Discussions / Advisory

Host: The Sit/Lie Ordinance is Unconstitutional. Really. Stop Trying To Fix It.
Type: Meetings - Business Meeting
Network: Global
Date: Monday, February 1, 2010
Time: 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Location: Portland Building, Second Floor Room C

Description It appears that the city is going to have an ongoing advisory committee about sidewalk use. I am not sure who is on the committee, but these are public meetings so please make sure you attend if you are able and willing to make your voice heard.

The email from Commisoner Amanda Fritz's Office:

Good afternoon,

I hope you are able to attend the Sharing Public Sidewalks Advisory Committee, which will be held this coming Monday, February 1st, 2010 from 3:30 - 5:00 pm in Room C on the second floor of the Portland Building, located at 1120 SW 5th Ave. Meetings will continue to be on the first Mondays at this time and location, until the group decides we no longer need to meet so frequently. The agenda for this meeting is attached, along with the notes from the previous meeting. If you notice errors or omissions, please tell me before the meeting.

Also attached to this email is the Sidewalk Management Plan Resolution, which was adopted by City Council on October 21, 2009. The Sidewalk Management Plan outlines the City's multi-faceted approach to ensure safe and useable sidewalks for everyone.

Please let me know by email or phone (503-823-3994) if you or a delegate will not be able to attend this meeting. Commissioner Fritz very much appreciates your participation.

Sara Hussein, MPA

Monday, January 04, 2010

Lawsuit due to Portland's anti-camping law

I received an interesting email about a recent lawsuit regarding Portland's (sic) anti-camping law. What follows below is the email I received today:


I haven't seen this reported anywhere yet, but:

City Council was supposed to vote on a class action lawsuit brought
against their anti-camping ordinance, which would have give $30,000 to
the plaintiffs and their lawyers, and clarified new rules for enforcing
the (draconian) policy.

It's not clear whether more work is being done, and if so who asked for
it, but it seems as if the rules being proposed (set up camps only after 9
PM, clean up by 7 AM) will just make things more confusing and complex for
people who already have no place else to go.

I've pasted in the "juicy parts" of the postponed ordinance and
accompanying documents below. As of this evening, you can still download
the .pdf at


From the Council item which was postponed on the City website:


This ordinance would settle a class action brought on behalf of homeless
individuals without shelter challenging the enforcement of the City's
anti-camping, temporary structures and park exclusion ordinances as

Individual plaintiffs allege that they were harmed and suffered the loss
of property in the past when they were told by police to move from the
public right of way. The settlement would provide seven individuals with
amounts between $200 and $500 for a total of $2,400 and $27,600 to the
Oregon Law Center for their attorneys fees on this case.

The plaintiffs sought an injunction from a court ruling that the City's
ordinances are illegal because there are no other alternative places for
many homeless people to sleep. In order to address this complaint, the
ordinance would authorize the City to enter into a settlement agreement
with the plaintiffs that sets out reasonable time and place restrictions
on when the camping and structures ordinances will be enforced and
provides a commitment that the City will continue with efforts to assist
with outreach and services for homeless residents of Portland.

It is the recommendation of Risk Management and the City Attorney's office
that this settlement be approved by ordinance in order to resolve the
lawsuit and clarify policies regarding when and where people can sleep on
public property

Non-monetary terms of settlement:

A. The City will condition any funding of homeless shelter capacity on the
contractual commitment of the shelter facility to allow meaningful access
to the shelter by housing outreach workers.

B. The City will not enforce its camping law (PCC 14A.50.020 or successor)
against persons who camp on public property or public rights of way that
are open to the public if they comply with the following rules:

a. A camp may not contain more than four people after 10:00 p.m.

b. A camp must be out of sight and earshot or more than 50 yards away from
any other camp.

c. Campers may not set up a campsite until 9:00 p.m.

d. A camp must be quiet after 10:00 p.m.

e. A camp must not cause any health or sanitation problems.

f. A camp must not draw significant complaints from neighbors.

g. A camp must be off the sidewalks and roadways and away from nighttime
high volume traffic areas.

h. A camp must be packed up and removed from the site by 7:00 a.m.

C. The City will not enforce its prohibition against the erection of
structures on public property (PCC 14A.50.050) against tents or other
structures designed for the primary and limited purpose of protecting
outdoor sleepers from the elements when the occupants of a campsite comply
with the rules set out in subsection B and no more than two sleeping
structures are present at a site.

D. The City will not enforce its camping law against people sleeping at
night in vehicles as long as they comply with the rules set out in
subsection B and the camp is limited to one vehicle and no more than two

E. The City agrees that it will not consider sleeping in a bedroll,
without more, to meet the definition of "camp" in PCC 14A50.020.

F. The City will conduct a pilot project to examine the feasibility and
benefits of providing storage to homeless people living on the street. The
City will issue a request for proposals for the creation and management of
two types of storage: one for documents and other small valuables and one
for larger items. The purpose of this effort will be to reduce the need
for homeless people to carry large amounts of personal property through
the community and reduce the potential for nuisances and conflicts with
the police over nuisance abatement. The City will endeavor to establish
storage capacity on both sides of the Willamette River. If the City is
able to find contractors willing to run the pilot project, it will fund
the project for at least two years. Continued operation will depend on
whether, in the City Council's judgment, the project proves to be
practical and politically viable.

G. The City will review and improve the procedures used during the
collection, storage and return of property found at campsites. The City
will endeavor to better connect property owners who are not present when
their property is taken with the process by which they can recover their
property. The City will document more carefully what is collected at
campsites and what is left behind or taken away as trash.

H. The City will continue with its effort to provide more public

I. The City will fund an outreach effort that is sufficient to
consistently make contact with aggregations of campers before they reach a
size of eight.

J. The City will not rouse non-obstructing, otherwise lawful sleepers
before 7:00 a.m.

K. The City will make these guidelines available to the public, and the
City's police officers will tell potential campers and outdoor sleepers
about these guidelines.


To read more information regarding the issue of homelessness and law enforcement I suggest the following website: