Friday, November 27, 2009

Father & Daughter make sacks lunch for homeless on Thanksgiving

A father's donation of food leads to family tradition

By Amy Hsuan, The Oregonian
November 26, 2009, 6:07PM

Olivia Bucks/The OregonianIn front of the Portland Rescue Mission, Stephanie Jones, 9, center, passes out brown bag dinners to the homeless Wednesday night while her father, Kwik Jones, wearing black hat, carries a box filled with the bagged dinners.Each brown paper bag holds a few slices of turkey on white bread, packets of mustard and mayonnaise, a bag of chips and a box of juice.

It's a meal that 9-year-old Stephanie Jones might pack for school at Beach Elementary in Northeast Portland.

But on the eve of Thanksgiving, each brown bag also holds a gift of goodwill to 100 men and women living on the streets.

Every family has their Thanksgiving traditions, and Jones and her father, Kwik, have theirs: For the past four years, they've made sack meals for the homeless.

"It makes me happy," says Jones, a fourth-grader. "I want them to have a home, too."

This year, like every year, the brown bags went a long way on a cold Wednesday night.

For the father and daughter, each holds a quiet lesson in humanity and a reminder of life's riches.

For the crowd of men and women standing outside the Portland Rescue Mission, the modest meal was a simple gesture that spoke volumes.

Wading through the crowd, Jones held a sack lunch in her small outstretched hand. At the receiving end, a wrinkled man in a tattered coat reached out.

"God bless you," he said. "You're an angel."

An inspired tradition

It started with $30 and a stroke of inspiration.

On the eve of Thanksgiving 2006, Kwik Jones had a production-job paycheck in his pocket and a generous feeling.

"God just put it in my heart," says Jones, 36. "I wanted to do something."

Jones had enough money for two loaves of bread, two packs of sandwich meat and some other supplies. It stretched to 20 meals.

It wasn't much, but it was enough.

From a working-class Arkansas family, Jones wanted to teach his daughter an important life lesson. He and his wife, Maria, both work to support their blended family of seven children. They aren't rich by any means, but say they feel fortunate for what they have.

"This is something she'll store in her mind always," Jones says. "We're obligated to help the poor. I want her to know it's her responsibility in this community to help others."

Stephanie, 6 years old at the time, was happy to help. The duo headed downtown, where Jones remembered seeing crowds of homeless sleeping on sidewalks. When they arrived, they realized some of the people in line wouldn't be fed when the shelters ran out of food.

Afterward, Stephanie asked her father, "Can we do this again?"

A Thanksgiving tradition was born.

Olivia Bucks/The OregonianUnderneath the Burnside Bridge, Stephanie Jones, 9, left and her father, Kwik Jones, carry brown bag dinners to the homeless.A humbling distribution

The following year, Jones started saving early. He put away $80. And the pair assembled 100 sack dinners, which they distributed with the help of Stephanie's oldest brother.

Last year, Jones, who also writes and produces plays, had money leftover from one of his shows. With $130, Jones recruited his childhood friend Ayric Payton for help. Payton, 37, enlisted a couple of his kids.

Together, the Joneses and the Paytons made 175 sack dinners. In front of the Rescue Mission, the bags were gone in minutes.

"It's humbling," says Payton, a Coca-Cola salesman. "We're not giving them much. It's not turkey, it's not gravy, not stuffing. My job is good, but it wouldn't take that long, especially in this economy, for me to end up homeless."

The feeling spread to his children.

"I want to do it every year," says son Ayric Thomas, 18, a recent Parkrose High School graduate. "The people are nice. They take what they can get."

This year, the economy took its toll on the families' finances. But at the last minute, members at their church, Hughes Memorial United Methodist, chipped in for enough food for 100 sack meals.

It wasn't as much as last year, but it was enough.

Already Jones has started fundraising. After handing out bags Wednesday night, he held a small performance of his new play at the Someday Lounge in Chinatown. He called the fundraiser "The Brown Bag Benefit."

"I'm trying to raise awareness, hoping that we'll inspire people to do something for their community," Jones says. "Even this little thing we do means something to a lot of people."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Portland Oregon Day Shelters 11.17.09

The following is an email I received from: Deborah Kafoury (District 1) Multnomah County Commissioner

I appreciate your concern for our friends and neighbors who arestruggling with homelessness and do not have a warm, safe place tosleep. I want you to know that I share your concern and yourfrustration.

I also want you to know that I am taking steps right nowto help those in need. Last week, Multnomah County and the City of Portland, in conjunctionwith our community non-profits, opened winter warming shelters forfamilies, men, women and couples. For the next five months, theseshelters will provide a warm, safe place to sleep for an additional 120people each night.

For more information visit

My first priority is to find the money necessary to keep these sheltersopen year-round, so that April 1st, the individuals who still need aplace to sleep can go to these shelters for help.

Second, I support your suggestion to change current camping policies sothat churches may allow people to camp in their parking lots. While Iam interested in changing additional camping policies, my ability toaffect policy in this area is limited. The County's jurisdiction onlyapplies to the rural areas of Multnomah County; the City of Portlandregulates camping policy within the city limits.

Third, I am working to increase the number of churches and faith groupswho provide shelter through the Daybreak family shelter. Daybreakrelies on churches to provide nightly shelter to their guests. We hopeto add an additional twelve churches during the winter months. If youare interested in getting involved, please visit

Multnomah County is also considering a short-term rent-assistancecampaign for homeless families that we hope to launch within the nextfew weeks. I wholeheartedly agree with you that affordable housing isthe most human way to end homelessness. None of these actions will solve the problem, but I know we can make adifference for many people who are currently without shelter. Iappreciate your thoughts and hope you will keep in touch.

Sincerely,Deborah Kafoury

The Daybreak Shelter Network is a unique collaboration between Human Solutions and 30 area congregations. It is one of the very few homeless family shelters that keeps families together and the only one in Mid and East County that is completely secular.

A bit about the Daybreak Shelter:
• The Daybreak Shelter provides shelter for 365 days and nights each year. Last year Human Solutions provided more than 4,500 nights of shelter and13,500 meals to homeless families.
• Daybreak houses families for 30 days while providing intensive and one-on-one case management
• Ensures that most families coming into shelter move directly into permanent or transitional housing in about 30 days.
• Families of any configuration can stay – including single parent, two parent, same sex parent, extended families, families headed by mothers, fathers, grandparents, etc. – and the family stays together while at our shelter .
• Families have access to Human Solutions’ other services: employment training, helpful
classes, computer lab for job and home searches, access to other educational tools, and a supportive network to help the family overcome homelessness – for good.

Some host congregations take turns housing homeless families overnight, while other supporting congregations assist by providing services and volunteers. Volunteers cook meals, implement enrichment activities to engage children in play and learning, and assist in transporting families from the host congregation’s site to Human Solutions’ Day Center.

Human Solutions’ holistic approach to breaking the cycle of poverty begins as soon as the family enters the Daybreak Shelter Network. Our goal while families are staying at Daybreak is to provide a set of services to give them the tools they need to become self-sufficient.

Looking for shelter?
If you and your family are homeless, or know of a family that is experiencing homelessness, call 503-548-0200 to find out about our Daybreak Shelter or housing opportunities for homeless families.

Want to help?
If your faith organization would like to find out more about joining the Daybreak Shelter Network, either as a host or supportive congregation, please call 503-256-2280.

How did the Daybreak Shelter make a difference last year?
68 households received shelter and support at our Daybreak homeless shelter.
87% of families who stayed at the Daybreak Shelter moved directly into safe, stable housing.
100% of the school aged children staying with homeless families at Daybreak Shelter will attend school within three days of entering the program.
75% of the homeless families placed into permanent housing will remain in permanent housing for one year or more.

What support does the shelter need?
In 2008 alone, Human Solutions received 3,486 requests for shelter, a significant increase from the year before. With this increase in families seeking solutions to homelessness, Human Solutions needs to keep our operations at full capacity. Please consider a donation to our Homeless Children’s Fund to make a difference in homelessness in our community. We also need more volunteers to help us keep our Daybreak Shelter operating. Click here to find out more about volunteer opportunities!

Many thanks to the Daybreak Shelter Network!

The Host and Supportive Congregations who make the work of the
Daybreak Shelter Network possible include:

Ascension Catholic Church
7507 SE Yamhill, Portland 97215

Sacred Heart Catholic Church
3910 SE 11th Ave., Portland OR 97202

Bennett Chapel United Methodist Church
13047 SE Ramona, Portland 97236

Cherry Park United Methodist Church
1736 SE 106th Ave., Portland 97216

Montavilla United Methodist Church
232 SE 80th Ave., Portland 97215

Tongan Fellowship of the Untied Methodist Church
4600 SE 97th, Portland 97266

East County Church of Christ
24375 SE Stark, Gresham 97030

Faith United Methodist Church
27400 SE Stark, Troutdale 97060

Eastrose Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
1133 NE 181st, PO Box 298, Gresham, 97030

Gresham United Methodist Church
620 NW 8th, Gresham, 97030

Havurah Shalom
825 NW 18th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Gethsemane Lutheran Church
11560 SE Market, Portland, 97216

St. Timothy Lutheran Church
14500 SE Powell, Portland 97236

Metro Church of Christ
1525 NW Division, Gresham 97030

Parkrose United Methodist Church
11111 NE Knott, Portland 97220

Resurrection Lutheran Church
1700 NE 132nd, Portland 97230

Gateway Baptist Church
13300 NE San Rafael St., Portland OR 97230

Rose City Park United Methodist
5830 NE Alameda, Portland 97213-3426

Fremont United Methodist Church
2620 NE Fremont, Portland, 97212

St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal
1704 NE 43rd, Portland 97213

St. David's Episcopal Church
2800 SE Harrison, Portland 97214

All Saints Catholic Church
3847 NE Glisan, Portland OR 97232

Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church
2828 SE Stephens, Portland, 97214

St. Ignatius Catholic Church
3400 SE 43rd Ave, Portland, OR

St. Philip Neri Catholic Church
2408 SE 16th, Portland 97214

Waverly Heights United Church of Christ
3300 SE Woodward, Portland 97202

Peace Church of the Brethren
12727 SE Market, Portland 97233

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church
9800 SE 92nd, Portland 97266

PDX Bible Church
14950 SE Gladstone, Porltand OR 97236

Monday, November 16, 2009

leave ...

Leave, says Mayor Adams to homeless campers outside City Hall
By Janie Har, The Oregonian

October 13, 2009, 5:31PM

Homeless campers assembled outside City Hall for the last two weeks were quietly booted out Tuesday morning by Mayor Sam Adams.

Homeless advocate Art Rios said the mayor arrived about 7:45 a.m. and told the crowd to leave. Adams' spokesman Roy Kaufmann confirmed the mayor's actions, saying that the city has a firm anti-camping ordinance.

"We recognize there's an issue to be addressed and we're working on it, but the anti-camping ordinance has to be enforced equitably and fairly," Kaufmann said.

The campers had been sleeping on the sidewalk outside City Hall since Sept. 28, arriving after city parks closed at 9 p.m. and leaving before 7 a.m. The number of people in sleeping bags ranged from a dozen to 23 a night. The group became visible Monday when they stuck around all day.

Rios and his group have called for a temporary ban of the camping ordinance and the creation of more shelter beds for the winter. They plan to hold a press conference at 7 p.m. tonight in front of City Hall.

In 2008, homeless people camped outside City Hall to protest sweeps. Then-Mayor Tom Potter let them stay, but was forced to ask police to move them out when the crowd swelled to 100 and got out of control.

In June, a circuit court judge threw out the city's ban against sitting or lying on sidewalks. But the city still maintains a prohibition against camping.

-Janie Har

Thursday, November 12, 2009

UN investigator accuses US of shameful neglect of homeless

UN special rapporteur Raquel Rolnik says the burden falls most heavily on the very poor, leaving the extent of the housing crisis invisible to many in the US. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

A United Nations special investigator who was blocked from visiting the US by the Bush administration has accused the American government of pouring billions of dollars into rescuing banks and big business while treating as "invisible" a deepening homeless crisis.

Raquel Rolnik, the UN special rapporteur for the right to adequate housing, who has just completed a seven-city tour of America, said it was shameful that a country as wealthy as the US was not spending more money on lifting its citizens out of homelessness and substandard, overcrowded housing.

"The housing crisis is invisible for many in the US," she said. "I learned through this visit that real affordable housing and poverty is something that hasn't been dealt with as an issue. Even if we talk about the financial crisis and government stepping in in order to promote economic recovery, there is no such help for the homeless."

She added: "I think those who are suffering the most in this whole situation are the very poor, the low-income population. The burden is disproportionately on them and it's of course disproportionately on African-Americans, on Latinos and immigrant communities, and on Native Americans."

Rolnik toured Chicago, New York, Washington, Los Angeles and Wilkes-Barre, a Pennsylvania town where this year the first four sheriff sales – public auctions of seized property – in the county included 598 foreclosed properties. She also visited a Native American reservation.

The US government does not tally the numbers but interested organisations say that more than 3 million people were homeless at some point over the past year. The fastest growing segment of the homeless population is families with children, often single parents. On any given night in Los Angeles, about 17,000 parents and children are homeless. Most will be found a place in a shelter but many single men and women are forced to sleep on the streets.

Los Angeles, which is described as the homeless capital of America, has endured an 18-fold increase in housing foreclosures. Evictions from owned and rented homes have risen about tenfold, with 62,400 people forced out last year in Los Angeles county.

Welfare payments are not enough to meet the rent, let alone food and other necessities. A single person on welfare living in Los Angeles receives $221 (£133) a month – an amount that hasn't changed in a decade. The rent for one room is typically nearly double that.

Rolnik said that while she saw difficult conditions in all the places she visited, the worst was on the Native American reservation of Pine Ridge in South Dakota.

"You see total hopelessness, despair, very bad conditions. Nothing I have seen in other cities compared to the physical condition of the housing at Pine Ridge. Nothing compared to the overcrowding. They're not visible, they're isolated, they're far away. They're just lost," she said.

Rolnik says that one of the greatest matters of shame is that the US has the resources to provide decent housing for everyone.

"In the US, it's feasible to provide adequate housing for all. You have a lot of money, a lot of dollars available. You have a lot of expertise. This is a perfect setting to really embrace housing as a human right," she said.

Rolnik has given a verbal report to the US state department, which has a month to respond to her observations. She will submit a final written report to the UN human rights council early next year.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Homeless in Portland Oregon in Winter Nov 2009

This was an email message I recieved, that looks like the writer is very well informed on this topic for the Portland area.
I wanted and needed to share this with all the readers of this blog.

Thanks !
Joe Anybody 11.4.09

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2009 08:05:55
From: GROWS Committee
To: The GROWS Committee
Subject: Lacking Indoor Shelter Options,
Hundreds in Portland Hope to Be Allowed to Camp

*One month and 3.5 inches of cold rain into the rainy season already, AND
The right to simple shelter is still not on the City Council's Agenda this

November 4, 2009
Portland, Oregon

Dear Citizens,

*Should hundreds of cold, damp, un-sheltered Portlanders be allowed to camp
legally - if in an orderly manner, in approved places?*

Is it in the public interest to rationally de-criminalize camping in
Portland, so that record numbers of homeless local people can legally cover
themselves against the wind and rain*?*

Should people be allowed to camp in plain view, rather than have to find
places to hide in order to avoid being randomly roused by police or thugs in
the night*?* (Hiding in order to sleep is dangerous, especially for those
more vulnerable)

Should healthier, less vulnerable adults be allowed to camp out-doors, which
would likely free up indoor shelter spaces this winter for use by more
vulnerable people, who might otherwise be turned away from shelters already
at capacity*?* (Improved triage would not be the intention of "easing the
camping ban," but a likely and increasingly necessary side effect of this).

*Yes. For many reasons, we believe that and easing of **the camping
ban**is clearly in the public interest.

We are calling on all *people of conscience* to help try to convince a
remarkably slow-to-react Portland City Council that a public-emergency has
for some time been unfolding all around us.*
There is *unprecedented* suffering among *record* numbers of (mostly
first-time) homeless people in Portland today. Legal, orderly camping in
designated places would offer immediate relief for them.

Public health and public safety are increasingly at risk because of the
current situation.

We are all connected. The suffering of the poor will inevitably affect each
of us. They need to stay dry and safe.

Portland's "anti-camping law" will soon be up for debate and modification by
the City Council.
(see, City Code Ch.14A.50.020)

Please consider contacting each City Council member to let them know *your
views*, and thus help to *counter the heavy-handed influence* of various
business alliances, right-wing elements within the Portland Police Bureau,
their favorite politicians, and other insensitive or misinformed people who
want to leave the camping ban in place. Behind the scenes efforts are being
made to water down the upcoming reform of the camping ban.

You can check to see when and how the *camping issue* (and other issues)
will come up on the* Portland **City Council’s Agenda* by looking at the *
City Auditor's web page* at
(there click on “Current Council Agenda” and/or “Upcoming Agenda Items")

*For more facts and perspectives about the camping ban . . .
*as well as other local efforts to provide opportunities for all
un-sheltered and jobless people
for food-growing, shelter-building and other sustainable work opportunities,
visit our Blog at:


*Trying to muster peace through simple justice,*

**the **G.R.O.W.S.** Committee
** *(a policy advisory council of gardening enthusiasts)

*Portland, Oregon*

*-->* (end of the short version of the G.R.O.W.S. e-mail message) *---*
Here now, if you'd like to read on, you may find the perspectives below
If you're not in the mood now, Portland's anti-camping law (along with other
human rights and economic development issues) are discussed further at
the August and
OctoberArchives of
Blog )

Some Facts and Misconceptions About Portland Area Homelessness:

The great majority of those experiencing homelessness *as of this year* in
the Portland metro area are *not* 'homeless by choice', as un-informed or
judgmental people like to suggest. Most of them are *not* mentally ill --
though continued life on the streets can lead to this. Most of them are *not
* addicts, nor criminals, nor road warriors. How many excuses for continued
ignoring or persecution of the socially disadvantaged do we need to keep

There has been a *great shift* in the homeless population locally, and
across the U.S. Because of the economic downturn (and the prospects of a
"jobless recovery"), most of the homeless today are on the streets for the
first time. The majority of those without shelter are seeking work and can't
find any. Thousands are working only occasionally as temps or part-time for
lack of a better economy, and they simply can not afford housing. Waiting
lists for assistance are two years long. Hundreds of the newly homeless in
the Portland area are families with children.

The numbers we hear vary greatly, depending on when and how the count was
conducted. If we count those who are in temporary or precarious housing
situations (staying with friends, or mere acquaintences, or allowed to sleep
in garages, etc.), the numbers in the Portland area reach beyond thirty

Among those on the streets, suffering from the rain and cold is made worse
by persecution. They are foced to hide in order to sleep, since it is
illegal under the current Portland law to cover themselves with a tarp or
tent. It is also illegal to "camp" in ones car, even if that is the only
safe place you have.

*The shelters are full already.*

Hundreds are being turned away nightly in Portland alone. City officials
admit they are well short of the ability to allow all who are suffering to
come inside. We are at least a thousand shelter spaces short in Portland

Locally, this issue -- the criminalization of sleeping in a tent or car --
is among the most important *human rights issues* of our time. Sally
Erickson, Director of Portland Coordinating Committee to End Homelessness
(CCEH) told those in attendance at the Oct. 21 (public) meeting of the CCEH
that, "*so far** *the City Council has mostly only been hearing from people
. . . who want to keep the camping ban in place." There are powerful people
in our City who would rather that the homeless remain hidden. 'Out of sight
out of mind' is a dangerous philosophy when it comes to so many sick,
stressed people.

We need to tell the City Council that with record numbers of homeless people
on the streets for the last year already, we had hoped that the City Council
would have taken up the camping issue long before the start of the current
rainy season. There are too many people on the streets!*

At least 10,000 People Are Now Sleeping Outside in the Metro Area*

The economy has thousands of people terribly stressed for lack of any
shelter. The camping ban is a shameful way to treat people who have no
shelter options. Half way through the so called "Ten Year Plan to End
Homelessness," the number of *newly* homeless citizens has quickly gotten
way beyond the reach of our local Bureaucrats. The Ten Year Plan uses a
housing-with-case-management approach developed by the Bush Administration,
focusing primarily on the chronically homeless.

Most of those experiencing homelessness today are *not* 'chronically' prone
to homelessness, but rather are high functioning, unemployed people who are
seeking work. Most of these people do not know where to turn. Most of these
people are *not* "homeless by choice" as many like to suggest. Locally, most
of them are long-time Portlanders who were working and housed up until

The *majority* of homeless among us locally these days have become homeless
for the *first time* in the just the last two years. Most of them are still
looking for work. Far from 'choosing' homelessness, they are very
disappointed, stressed, and afraid.

Most of the Portland area homeless today are either not qualified for
housing assistance, or are on two year long waiting lists. Our
homeless *shelters
are already full*, with hundreds being turned away nightly. Most don't even
bother trying to check in any more.

*Under the anti-camping law as it is, it is illegal for a property owner or
a church to allow anyone to camp on their grounds. *

What is left for those stuck without options in the rain? Pitching a tent or
a tarp or a piece of cardboard in an out-of-the-way spot? Sorry, that's
illegal. Adding to their misery is the fact that the Portland Police Bureau
has a serious problem with bullies in their ranks. Police often illegally
seize and dispose of the property of homeless citizens. Oppressive sweeps
can leave a person devastated, and without any possessions. It is happening
nightly. *

The camping ban is *dangerous* for *public health* and *public safety*. The
suffering of thousands of our neighbors across the Metro, caught out in the
cold and rain, will inevitably affect each of us. Like ignoring a forecast
hurricane, a culture which forces its homeless to hide is like an arrogant
mariner in a storm path, failing to make preparations.

*Most decent citizens agree that the camping ban should eased or** set
The question is, how effective will the Council's measures be? The homeless
population in the Portland metro area has reached 10,000. At least 20,000
more are 'couch surfing' or living temporarily with friends or family. Most
of these are stressed out people are looking for jobs that aren't there.
With these kinds of numbers at hand, the City Council is now likely, it
seems, to modify the camping ban to allow limited camping.

This past summer, the CCEH ( the homeless helping government agency) of
Portland/ Multnomah County, called together an Alternatives Workgroup to
examine options to expand immediate sheltering needs of our fast growing
homeless population. They have recently made their recommendations to
Commissioner Nick Fish, who has pledged to propose some "alternatives for
safe, dry places to sleep" to the full City Council.

Note: *many* individuals, churches, and activist groups have been asking the
CCEH and more recently Nick Fish's Office to take such an initiative years
now> We had been hoping that they would do so *before* the start of the
current rainy season. Better late than never! Opposition to earlier, more
timely discussions of the Anti-camping law in the City Council have been
lead by the powerful right-wing forces inside the Portland Police Bureau,
the Portland Business Alliance, and by City Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

*The Oregonian* headline of October 22 came out one day after the City's new
'Sidewalks Management Plan' (championed by Fritz) was given force of law.
Note: the old Sit-Lie prohibition was ruled unconstitutional in June of this
year. *Despite* all the foot-dragging about the camping issue, the Camping
Ban is *soon to come up for debate*. The Anti-camping law is now under legal
challenge by the Oregon Law

*The Good News Is ...*

Upon the recommendations of the CCEH's Alternatives Workgroup, Commissioner
Fish is planning to propose an easing of the camping ban in early November,
along with other suggestions as to how homeless people can have more safe
places to sleep. The proposal which Commissioner Fish is *likely* planning
to present to the Portland City Council will include the following elements:

*1.* Portland would adopt a position similar to that of the city of Eugene's
'SAFE' camping program (see, Eugene City Code, Ch.4.816). This will allow
churches and private businesses to legally let small numbers of people sleep
on their property either in tents or in cars.
*2.* Portland would to ease the anti-camping law to allow for tents on *city
property* during night time hours during the winter months.
*3.* Guidelines for proper camping behavior (place, time, and manner
restrictions) will be made public so that the rules are clear to campers,
citizens and police.

Now that the Camping ban is up for debate, the question becomes, *How
effective* would these proposals be in helping the homeless to have enough
safe, dry places to sleep? Assuming that these proposals are passed by our
City Council, will this be enough to help so many unsheltered people? The
answer, we believe is yes and no.

*This month* the City Council is likely to begin talking more seriously
about these issues. Or they may continue to avoid talking about them.* It's
up to us* encourage them to get more serious, and to remind them that there
are far too many people living on the streets.


You can read more about the upcoming camping debate...
at Dignity Advocate's Blog.
*Other NEWS* there discussed includes:

How (as in Seattle and in Eugene) the churches and charities can play a key
role in Portland.
How Portland churches and (certain zoned) businesses will likely be allowed
to accommodate campers where possible. Where are the leaders of the Churches
when it comes to an effective summit on homelessness?

*The question of whether a policy is being drafted which would allow night
time tent camping only on public lands, requiring hundreds of people to pack
up and move on each morning, even in the rain.* While the proposal to
partially lift the ban is good, we are concerned that a watered down version
of a revised camping ban may just keep hundreds or thousands wet.

*The issue of utilizing idle City properties and mothballed resources for
LOWER cost sheltering.*
Not everyone who is homeless is likely to find a church or a business which
will allow them to camp on their property for prolonged periods. There are
too many un-sheltered people to expect that generous churches, businesses
and private citizens will accommodate anywhere-near-all of those seeking

*The issue of another 'Dignity Village' and/or tent cities.*
Should non-profits which receive city funds be required to have clean/sober
leadership handling the community money? Should leadership of any new
'village' be more carefully selected? What does effective self-policing and
self-government need to involve? When, where, and how can *simple economic
development* best happen?

The need for donation drives for camping equipment for individuals as well
as families.
Will local government -- as much as they may spend on expensive rent
vouchers -- will our CCEH or the County buy any inexpensive tents, yurts,
strawbales or practical camping equipment for the homeless? Why citizens
need to help protect public health and safety when government efforts fall
The issue of unchecked, consistent bullying by a few of the Portland Police,
and by certain private security forces. Making things even tougher on the
homeless, this law has been routinely enforced by the Portland Police Bureau
in a more aggressive than called for manner. The silence of the Portland
City Council on this is frightening even by L.A. standards. See Dignity
Advocate's Blog Page entitled,
"The Criminalization of

*The issue of whether **a City or regional emergency **declarations **are
called for. IF modifying Portland's anti-camping law is Insufficient to
alleviate mass suffering, what's next? *The economy has become a disaster
for a quarter million unemployed Oregonians, and is already an (officially
undeclared) *EMERGENCY* for thousands among us.
*And 'The Bigger Picture':
The Need for Locally-Initiated, Ground-Up, Sustainable Economic Development.
* Don't let huge national and international corporate-sponsored-lobbyists
control YOUR local economic planning -- especially at time when greatly
simplified economy (i.e. deliberately lower consumption, not higher) is
needed for the sake of our species' survival.

P.O. Box 3482 * Portland, OR * 97208