Saturday, February 8, 2014

Photograph from Street Roots

 by Israel Bayer | 7 Feb 2014
"A woman sleeps in a doorway in downtown Portland the morning after the snowstorm
What a week on the homeless front. A partnership between some of the most powerful interests in the city and a group of homeless activist, a snowstorm and the Portland police chief announcing a plan to address homelessness downtown. Wow.

I haven’t even mentioned that there’s a plan in the works to potentially move a prominent downtown shelter to the Eastside, but honestly, that’s a story for another time.

I go on the Internet and see reporters and pundits making fun of the conditions in Sochi during the Russian Olympics and then walk out the door at Street Roots in Old Town to see a 64-year-old man freezing in the doorway. You tell me. First things first, a big kudos should go out to all of the men and women who have been working around the clock to serve people on the streets.

Individuals on the streets endure much, and none more than during the current snowstorm. There’s nothing logical or remotely civilized about watching people struggling without a home during the dead of winter.

I go on the Internet and see reporters and pundits making fun of the conditions in Sochi during the Russian Olympics and then walk out the door at Street Roots in Old Town to see a 64-year-old man freezing in the doorway. You tell me. 

There’s been an army of social workers, do-gooders, police officers, the fire bureau, and many others working around the clock during these cold nights. They have one simple goal — to not let anyone freeze to death. They do it with compassion and heart. They should be saluted.

If you’re interested in volunteering or donating goods during cold spells, or anytime for that matter, holler. 2-1-1. It’s one of the most important numbers you can have in your phone.

Pretty sweet that Right 2 Dream Too continues to navigate, with grace no doubt, in some very complex political waters. I’m very happy they’ve been able to negotiate the next steps of their journey with the city.

Here we have a group of 70 individuals experiencing homelessness, many from the Old Town neighborhood, who have managed to collectively pull themselves up by the bootstraps and achieve some amazing feats.

How about giving hundreds of people on the streets a safe place to rest for pennies on the dollar. I mean, we’re not even talking breadcrumbs here. More so, the group has held its head high, while being ridiculed and undercut, sideswiped and pushed down by some of the most powerful downtown interests in this city. That’s what I call some big-time resilience."
To continue reading the article, please go to Street Roots.

Street Roots: Developers pitch buyout of R2DToo lot, and $850,000 toward rest stop's future home

Photo from Street Roots
 by Joanne Zuhl | 6 Feb 2014

"Pearl District developers want Right 2 Dream Too out of their neighborhood, so much so that they’re willing to pony up more than $846,000 toward the homeless groups future home.
City Council will vote next week on whether to accept the money.

Pearl Hotel Investors LLC, fronted by developers Homer Williams and Dike Dame, has agreed to pay the city just over $1 million total for multiple uses. Of that amount, $142,000 will be used to purchase Lot 7, a parking lot under the Broadway Bridge once proposed as new home for Right 2 Dream Too. The Portland Development Commission currently owns the lot.

Another cut of the payment, $50,000, goes to offset parking needs to the nonprofit REACH, which had an agreement with the city for the space.

The remainder is dedicated to finding a suitable alternative site for the homeless rest area.
“It’s a step forward, Fritz says. “No one’s going to say it’s a solution.”
Ibrahim Mubarak, the spokesperson for R2DToo has not formally agreed to the terms of the proposal, and won't until it can convene its board of directors on Saturday. Mubarak says they agree on the general principle of the proposal, but want to discuss and clarify some of the terms, including who would own the lease if a new site were found.

As part of the proposal, the city agrees to facilitate the sale of the current Right 2 Dream Too site — the high profile lot under the Chinese Gate — to the PDC. Even with that sale, Right 2 Dream Too would still be allowed to stay on the site until a suitable alternative was found, according to the proposal. 

The agreement also waives the existing fines, and puts a halt on any future fines, assessed by the city for R2DToo’s occupation at Fourth and Burnside.

For the developers, it takes Lot 7 off the table for R2Dtoo. According to the City Assessor’s office, that property has a real market value of nearly $1.4 million, and is assessed at $172,000.
Dana Haynes, communications director for Mayor Charlie Hales, says the mayor has agreed to the conditions of the sale. Hales is currently in South Africa for the C40 Mayors Summit.
The past two years have been a series of false starts between Right 2 Dream Too and the city."  Continue reading this article at Street Roots here.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

News Update

On November the 3rd, the Pearl District here in Portland had their annual tree lighting ceremony. Right 2 Survive and Right 2 Dream Too held a vigil right in front of the tree. We had about 25 to 30 people attend the vigil and surround Joe Walsh and his friend Mag as they took on the roles of the houseless that will die this winter due to cold temperatures and wet weather.  Many of us had candles and all of us listened to a heart tugging song about a houseless man who freezes to death because he had no place to go, sang by our dear friend Rachael.
We also handed out fliers educating the public about both of our groups missions and some facts about houselessness. Overall the reception from people was heartfelt.  However, the Pearl Santa turned out to be more of a Scrooge or Grinch than a jolly St. Nick!  Santa had no hat and his beard was rather dark - he threatened a few of our people, calling 911 and going to talk to the police who were there, who evidently just laughed at him and said there was nothing they could do - we were within our rights. 

Photo by Jason Kersten
Recently, ladies from the local carpenters union came well prepared.  Working as a team they were a moving force at Right 2 Dream Too, as they built shelves and a structure for the women's tent. They have more plans for the Rest Area and we look forward to seeing them back very soon. These women are awesome at building, constructing and showing how important working as a team leads to getting things accomplished well!
There are two events coming up that feature Ibrahim and R2DToo, the Comic Book Release and the Scrooge Party.  We will have an update on these soon.

What about the Right 2 Survive radio show which airs on the 2nd Wednesday of each month on KBOO 90.7 FM.  Each show is unique because it highlights the struggles of the unhoused here in Portland and some interviews from other cities across the country.  KBOO 90.7 FM airs our hour-long show from 6 to 7 pm.  Archives are available through KBOO as well.  R2S radio isn't just interviews, they are often emotional, inspiring and uplifting stories direct from people living unhoused. The show also includes musical interludes, that are usually in keeping with the them of a show or a song that relates to the previous persons story.  We hope you have a chance to listen and provide us with feed back.

What's happening with our move to another site?  Well - you'll have to stay tuned.  With all the media attention, it's difficult to get things straight, for sure.  Negotiations are still underway and we'll be sure to let you know when things are finalized.

Thanks to all our supporters - the giving has been abundant in all ways and we so appreciate that.  We pass out a lot to the community in outreach.  Rain gear will be an additional need at this time, because though the rain has been absent, this is Oregon and it's going to be here very soon!

Friday, October 11, 2013

We're Celebrating Two Years!!

Although our attention has been heavily focused on the discussion and technicalities of our upcoming move ... we are pausing to celebrate our two year anniversary!  Please come out and join us:
    • Saturday, October 12th
    • 12:00pm until 5:00pm
      NW 4th and Burnside
  • You're invited to join us in Celebration of Right 2 Dream Too success of the last year.

    Hundreds of people sleep on the streets of Portland every night, there are often no beds available at shelters, and it can take months or even years to get into transitional or permanent affordable housing. In response, Right 2 Survive organized a safe place where people can sleep undisturbed for a period of 8-12 hours, or stay longer as a community member while they work to access housing, health care, employment opportunities, and advocate for other houseless people. This place is Right 2 Dream Too (R2DToo) and was opened on October 10th, 2011.

    Over the past two years, over 70 people have found jobs and housing with the support of R2DToo. 
    Tentative Schedule:
    12 to 2- Taco Bar / Silent Auction and Carnival
    2- Bajo Salario Band
    3- Speeches
    4- Mic Crenshaw
    4:30 End of Silent Auction
    4:45 Announcment of Winners

    $5 dollar donation. No one turned away for lack of funds. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rose City Radical Revival

On Sunday, August 18th, Right 2 Dream Too came out in support for the first ever Rose City Radical Revival.  This was a rally and march not to target big corporations or the like, but to celebrate ourselves and our passions.  We represented royally and Ibrahim Mubarak was deemed the Grand Marshall of the parade in the streets, which went peacefully, with no problems.  Next year will be bigger and better, as we plan to keep in touch and create something really special for the Second Rose City Radical Revival!

Ibrahim with the organizers.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Right 2 Dream Too vs.The City of Portland

Photograph by Quauhtli Productions

From Street Roots:

"It could have been a make or break morning for Right 2 Dream Too, but it looks like it will be several weeks before a judge decides the fate of the controversial homeless way station.

This morning, after listening to two hours of legal arguments from the city and Right 2 Dream Too, Judge Karin J. Immergut elected to take the matter under advisement. She said she would return with a decision in two to three weeks.

The city says the operation, where an average of 60 homeless people sleep each night, is an unpermitted recreational campground, and in violation of city code. Right 2 Dream Too maintains that their camp is an emergency rest area, where people experiencing homelessness can find shelter and access other services."  To finish reading, click here.

Photograph courtesy of Quauhtli Productions    

For more photographs inside and out of the courtroom, visit Quauhtli Productions site through this link:
Quauhtli Productions

Sunday, July 14, 2013

 Right 2 Survive Radio on KBOO 90.7 every third Tuesday from 6 til 7pm. 
July's topic: Why is R2Dtoo taking the City of Portland to court?  Hear from Attorney Mark Kramer, Dreamers - Chris and Pam; Jobs With Justice  ally, Greg Margolis and R2Dtoo board member and organizer, Michael Moore. 
 Right to Survive's KBOO show for July