Dreamer's Stories

Helping the Houseless Community
by Tony J.
To me it is real sad that when I walk around Portland, there are a lot of houseless people living on the streets. We at R2DToo are a little community within itself.  It is a framework of fellowship with houseless helping houseless. If the Government would see how we look out for other houseless folks on the street, there would be a lot less trouble with the ones on the street. Homes would bring happiness into their lives and in the communities, and they would live in harmony with one another. There would be a lot less trouble with the law and other emergency services for someone that was better off than on the streets. R2DToo is the role model for the Government on how to show their support for the houseless people.  Now the county asks for grants to improve roads, sidewalks, and traffic lights, but still there are no shelters for the houseless. If they say they will do something about it, start it, finish it, don’t leave it half done! Don’t leave them still on the streets. Start a job, finish the job.  Roads, sidewalks, and traffic lights can be done later, people’s lives cannot be replaced.

My Story 
By Amy M.
Right 2 Dream to has given me a safe place to call home and has taught me to stand up for rights and help other houseless communities in their time of need.  This last week, I also learned about how the Willamette River is contaminated, and I think that if we all come together it can be fixed.  The time I have been at R2DToo has been a new change of life for me.  It has been an eye opener on what’s really going on in the world today.


Feel Free to Volunteer by K.F. 
I became homeless in 2011 because of an illness of epilepsy and was discriminated against by my employer and lost my job because I was labeled as a risk. I lost everything and was on the streets. I never thought in my life that this would happen to me. I was however able to use some of the resources while on the streets and did get some help, I stayed in several shelters and did get housing at one point, but as soon as my insurance ran out I was asked to leave the housing that I had. I did not know that my case manager at the time was getting paid through my insurance company to case manage me. I call it feeding off the homeless! I became homeless again. And that's when I found R2DToo and they took me in on a nightly basis for sleep that I desperately needed. The staff there were very nice and accommodating and they had food there as well. I kept coming there every night and started to realize how serious the homeless in Portland was and how overwhelming it must be for shelters to deal with this situation of the need to help. One day I was asked to come to a meeting and I did just that and now I am a member and I am on fire to help these people not only through R2DToo, but through other facets within the homeless community. I feel very content every night knowing that I am doing what I can to help these people. Sometimes you don't get a thank you, but most of the time you do from the homeless that you help, however it is rewarding none the less. I would like to ask anyone that wants to help us at R2DToo to please feel free to volunteer, help pass out bags, come to the meetings on Sundays at 6 PM and see what we are about; I am very blessed to be part of this program. I do believe that building your crowns in heaven is a good thing; just as doing this work is not just for the homeless and as a Christian person it is for Jesus as well, what would God want you to do?

The Struggle
By James B.
Most normal human beings have little to no idea of what the struggle is.  Being chronically houseless since the age of 17 is “the struggle”.  Having no place to go due to mental illness and a flawed mental health system is “the struggle”.  Being profiled and harassed by police because of how you dress or your religion is “the struggle”.  When you are a houseless woman and your fellow women who are houseless are constantly being raped, that is “the struggle”.  Being so hopelessly addicted to a drug that you don’t see the monster you’ve become, that is “the struggle”.  Not being able to sleep in your car because the police will harass you is “the struggle”.  Last but not least, for some unexplainable reason, being Gary Coleman is “the struggle”.

MLK Day Rally and March
By Trish R.
January 15th we had our annual MLK Day march and rally with several organizations, including Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP), Black Lives Matter, VOZ, Portland Tenants Union, Right 2 Survive, and Right 2 Dream Too.  The rally started out at VOZ with many speakers from most of these organizations.  We then shut down the west bound lanes of the Burnside Bridge as we marched over to R2DToo.  Several people spoke there, including myself and Lisa from R2S, Porkchop from Hazelnut Grove, Teresa from Black Lives Matter, among others.  We then marched to city hall to meet up with Portland Tenants union, where Ibrahim among many others spoke.  We then took to the streets again, where we march a couple of places that are in opposition to our goals.  All in all, it was a great rally/march with many organizations in solidarity coming together for a common goal, to fight for equality for all!
By Mike S.
Martin Luther King Day was a day to reflect on the work that Dr. King did for the civil rights movement.  On January 15th, Portland had a march and rally to continue what Dr. King did.  Since I had never planned anything before, helping plan the march and rally, there was a learning curve, and I didn’t have a clue what I was getting into.

The rally started at VOZ on immigrant rights, and black lives matter, Right 2 Survive and others spoke on issues that involved their organizations.  We then marched across the Burnside Bridge to Right 2 Dream Too, where more people spoke about houselessness, and human rights.  The march then made its way up to City Hall to meet up with Portland Tenants United.  They spoke about tenants rights.  After the City Hall rally, we all took to the streets and marched to a few places that were in opposition of our collective goals.  As this rally and march was my first march and it was a great success.  I may plan more marches and rallies into the next year.
by Panda
In all my years growing up and having the opportunity to travel the world and able to see so many things happen but the one place that I am trying to still figure out is Portland, Oregon. Been visiting here since 2013 every 4-6 months has been a difference experience and the more I see more houselessness individuals on the street of Portland, the more I’d question my abilities “Can I Still Help?” So far I do believe that I’d offer my best support to provide but I don’t think it’s enough and I need an army of good and kind-hearted people to stand with me and to see what we can do to fix any of the houseless issues. I can’t do it alone but sometimes I’d feel as if I am not wanted at times. Yes, I have my place of my own but doesn’t change the fact that we are all human and love is a power tool. Going to add a bit of clarification here and when I am in Portland, I do at times stay at Right 2 Dream Too in order to be part of something better. Understanding and never forgetting about the life of a homeless person has to conquer every single day. I have a first home which is home and a second home which is R2S/R2D2 and airports, just because I’m always delay hours at times.  Love can transform in many ways and can change the heart of millions. Being able to be here in regards of giving back does make my experience become a better person and sharing these social life events with other helps me regain some sign of happiness. The houseless community just doesn’t have single individuals but families that are receiving the same unfortunate turn of events. If you are just able to end just a little part of the conflict from our lives, we can received and give a better future for our young as well. This turn of events shouldn’t even be a fight but this is what it turns out to be, “A Fight for Survival”.  No one should be fighting at any cost to be able to live in a warm place or to look for food. I’ve been offer a job here and I am not sure what to do at this time but I don’t want this to affect my current line of work. Now, there is some good that I can do with accepting this position and being in Portland as well. Just me being in Portland now as I write this quickly
to get this on the newsletter, there are so many things I wish I can do right now. So for now I’ve just have to take each step one at a time to fully understand and to become an Oregonian of Portland.
Understanding more about the houseless community and become a bright light of change that gives hope to many. This week I was able to make five shifts this week at Right2Dream and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to help and yes, that is my fear sometimes. No one understand me quite well yet but if I am not helping to give a helping hand, I do feel depressed and I am just being who I am. I am not asking for a badge or trying to be the hero, I’d need this in my life. As I said before it help me seek ideas, dreams and making someone happy is my goal. Of course I do analyzing far way too much and need to realize that it’s just a process of me taking the steps in the right direction. I’ve met someone this week that is very passionate about what she is doing as a journalist student and photographer but also spinning the time with me at the rest area, have conversations and find out how she can help but she isn’t the only person that I’ve gather to join this fight. Panda-Squad will strike once we all together and bring that joy to the hearts of millions. That is another goal that is in the works but the best part about that is that we all are from the same region and we’d understand but see many tears coming from the people that are only looking for someone to guide them in the right direction they should be heading. Who wants to criminalize the homeless? I’m sure you don’t want to and either should everyone else. Last week at the MLK March
to City Hall, I saw a sign a person what holding and it said “Your Greed is My Death” and it just blew me away how this person design the sign with such good color choices and taking images of the March at R2D2 were some voices from people without and with housing. A community that bands together to fight for a wage increase of $15 NOW and Homeless Bill of Rights. Equal Right is unification. Closing this letter with something to remind you with “Always be kind and you will be a better person”. People will love you and we all want love, don’t we?
Making Everybody More Aware: Willamette River Contamination, Cleanup, and the Houseless Community

By Pascoe, Roy Pascoe, and Erin Goodling
Even though 1000s of people swim in the Willamette River each summer as part of the Big Float, the river is not as clean as you may think. An 11-mile stretch has been declared by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as so contaminated with industrial pollution that it will take 20-30 years and up to $1.8 billion to clean it up. The contamination in this area is not in the water itself, but rather heavy metals and other substances that are trapped in the soil and sediment.

People are impacted when they eat fish living in the Portland Harbor, especially fish such as bass, catfish, and carp. The fish accumulate toxins in their tissues, which then gets passed on to people when they eat it – causing cancer and other problems if consumed over the long term. Children, nursing and pregnant mothers, and those with weak immune systems are especially at risk.

Another group of people that are particularly at risk of being impacted by both contamination and cleanup of the Portland Harbor are houseless people living along the river. People without other resources may rely on eating fish and drinking water out of the river to survive, exposing them to toxins. They may also be exposed when they build shelter in areas along the river that have toxic soil, contaminated with lead, dioxins, and other substances that are harmful to humans and pets. People seek shelter along the river because they may not feel safe in shelters or shelters are full. They also get harassed by the police, housed people, business owners, and other houseless people when sleeping in the community or downtown, and so seek safer places to rest along the river.

But houseless people seeking shelter along the river are not only exposed to great risk from toxins in the river. The police, parks department, and landowners also may impact them here. For example, when the police remove people from a campsite, if they have nowhere else to go, they are in an even worse position than before. Sometimes police and parks department officials take people’s belongings. This exposes people to the elements of the winter or summer extremes, making them even more at risk for health problems and even death.

We are not at all arguing that the river should be left contaminated. But we have to think with more compassion for those that live along the river and others that may not automatically benefit from a cleaner river, and in fact may be harmed by it.

Where are the houseless going to go and rest when cleanup is happening? How far will people continue to be pushed out of the central city, where jobs and services are located?

We are letting people know that the river is going to be cleaned up, and that it is important to establish more affordable housing for those with low- and no-income so they can live inside permanently. They should not have to move into temporary housing or shelters. They should not have to keep on moving all the time.

The Portland Harbor Community Coalition (PHCC) and Right 2 Survive (R2S) are involved in addressing this issue from many angles. The first involves short-term survival strategies. When cleanup actions are happening, we plan to let the houseless and community know. Right 2 Survive leaders are also working with the Parks Department to make sure they know the laws around removal of campsites as well as how to better communicate and have compassion in approaching those living on public land. We are also communicating with the houseless community by handing out pamphlets regarding the clean up and their rights when encountering police that take their belongings and shelter from them, leaving them at risk to the weather and elements.

We need the police to stop interfering with the houseless people and the community. The houseless community has a right to get rest for their daily activities, like school, work, appointments, etc., just like anyone else. The cops don't interfere with people who have housing, but they are allowed to mess with the houseless; that isn’t cool. People have the right to keep their belongings and be able to feel safe about staying wherever they are located. For this reason, Right 2 Survive is leading the charge to establish a “Right to Rest” in the Oregon state legislature. (See wraphome.org for more information.)

PHCC and R2S are working on some longer-term strategies as well. We are part of a larger coalition of two dozen organizations that are advocating for permanently affordable housing in Portland. We have submitted 11 anti-displacement recommendations to the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to include in the Comprehensive Plan, which is under review. These help put the visions of 1000s of Portlanders that have expressed great concern about gentrification and displacement, as well as closely related treatment of the houseless community, into action. Our hope is that these recommendations can help prevent many people from becoming houseless in the first place.

If you want to get involved, contact Ibrahim at 503-839-9992, Brad at gibsonbc@gmail.com, the Portland Harbor Community Coalition at www.ourfutureriver.org, or look up the Anti-Displacement Pdx facebook page.

 Life Without Sweeps 
By Aurora Le’Noiree
Portland Police have stepped back their effort to remove encampments, or sweeps, greatly since the parades and public events. While there are still sweeps occurring throughout the city, their efforts have been reduced. Major areas, like the Central Eastside, with good concentrations of houseless individuals are experiencing this relief. Even though this is seen as a benefit in the eyes of activist fighting for non-housed, it isn’t entirely not the end of their struggles.
    It is still difficult for the community living outside as the weather begins to drop. A common struggle, especially this time of year, is gathering supplies. Being resettled into hopefully a longer term are comes the governing of new neighbors. Getting everyone in-line without a hard copy of set rules distributed leaves nothing ‘set in stone’. This adds a challenge of maintaining personal property.
    Without the sweeps, it is still equally the same working towards surviving. The list of supplies covers food, shelter (materials to fortify against weather included), and hardware for a viable camp. When a group begins to work in solidarity, areas like a storage tent to a kitchen are utilized; even common areas as well. Having to pack resources constantly can be disastrous to maintaining belongings that may even be taken in a sweep.
    What is the major benefit of not being concerned about a sweep is the lack of tension. Individuals have less to worry about losing while the question of where to go next is a big concern. Most would have to leave the areas central to services for another long term location. These areas can be away from roads leaving access to emergency responders insufficient. All the sweeps truly accomplish is creating fear in the houseless community leaving people feeling abused by authorities.
    From a uniformed perspective, those who share empathy, and houseless individuals: sweeps are not favorable! Most officers have expressed they take no pride and are hurt by the task of removing a person from their encampment. People out on the streets don’t remove those who are maintaining a clean and community friendly camp. Most of those out there do not want a thief, bike shop, or drug usage out in the open because of bad neighbors just feet away. They all just want to live and get through this struggle just as bad as those who don’t want people camping.

 A Day in the Life
by Joanna Nordness
I got up early this morning since I asked Joe to holler at my tent to wake me. I wanted to get a lot of things done today. We sat around drinking our morning coffee and smoking and talking about our military and government conspiracy theories. Good times!
I had enough money to get a bus pass for 2 hours and I wanted to go to JOIN to take a shower. I used to use their computers there, too, but the day I came back to town, they said that all the computers have viruses and we can't use them. (It does not appear that there are computers there anymore.) I walked to Rose Quarter to catch the Max to stretch out the time I would get to use my bus ticket. I stopped at Panera Cares to get a free coffee and bagel.
I got to JOIN around 10:30 (it opens at 10) and the next shower was at 12:30. This would not give me enough time to take a shower and still have a good bus ticket, so I gave up on that idea and moved on to the next item on my agenda.
I took the Max to the library. In front, there was a fire truck with it's lights on and a few other vehicles with flashing lights. I ignored them and went inside to use the computers for a hour.
I then walked to Rose Haven to try to get some shoes that will fit me and other clothing items that I need. It is at least a mile there from the library. I got there at 1:00 and they told me that they are closed today from 1 to 4 "for an event." They claimed that they will be open tomorrow.
I walked back to the library to use my other hour. After this, I will walk home about 2.5 miles. I was planning to attend a meeting tonight, but it would mean another 5 miles of walking, and I am really tired.
I can't wait to come home and relax by a nice campfire and enjoy the company of my friends at Hazelnut Grove.

by Lisa
On the 6th and 7th of November, members from both R2S and R2D2 went down to Eugene. We stayed at the Resurrection Church where 3 Conestoga huts sit in the center of the parking lot. They have housed a former Dreamer Mark Hubbell, for the last 2 years. Mark has taken on a proactive role advocating for the houseless of Eugene. He has brought his voice to City Council, helped facilitate the beginning operations of one of the tent cities there. Eugene now has Opportunity and Emerald Village and is working on Ours. Ours will be the latest sanctioned in Eugene to provide a safe space separate from traditional Shelter systems.
         I Ibrahim, know that you some of you heard of the old cliche, Damn if you do, Damn if you don't. Can't Win for Losing,  Grass is Greener on the other side, Not in my Neighborhood. Now the Houseless in Denver Co. grassroots organization is making a grand statement "MOVE ALONG 2 WHERE". However I believe that's the new cry out everywhere in the Houseless Communities thru out America. Most people that live inside don't know the term called sweeps. Ok for the record it's when the city police are told by the city officials (Mayor) to go Wreak and tear up Houseless adhoc encampment sites, where people stay together for safety sake, for building communities, and mainly cause there is NO where to go. Living outside is a hard strange a tedious thing to do. some people handle it well and some don't. The Houseless Communities go through a bunch of unnecessary life events. people are not taught is school on any level on how to live on the streets. People think that the Houseless Communities are people who are lazy, on drugs,  want to be taken care of without doing for themselves. "WRONG" Bad Public. Why would the housed people think this. People that Live in-side do drugs, people in-side want to be taking care of, ask a maid or butler.
        However when Activist group in Denver Co. Denver Homeless Out Loud (DHOL) The Tiny House Movement and a Permaculture  Organization got together to help the Houseless Community. They squatted on Denver Housing Authority Land ( which owns 10 vacant lots the size of Right 2 Dream too or bigger, which DHA is selling those land sites to big time developers) build tiny homes for a small community so that they may be protected from the harsh winter months in Colorado, to get of the street from harassment and numerous attacks that goes unnotice on people that lives on the street.  The law enforcement was call. 15 squad cars and 5 swat cars  surrounded them broke and into the homes and pulled the houseless people out and arrested 10 of them, Ok I cant grasp that, but understandable. Now get this after the 10 was arrested, City Works of Denver came in and TORE the tiny houses up and told the rest of the houseless community to move along. Someone shouted 'Move Along 2 Where" This Slogan is taken the communities by storm. Where do we go. where is our safety net, where can we live. I guess the Denver City Officials didn't get the Memo. I wish every Houseless person in this country would learn to stand up for their Rights like the Denver 10 and shout in front of City Halls thru out this country, Move Along 2 Where, one more time all at once "MOVE ALONG 2 WHERE"

Fast Track 
by Mark L.
I was houseless for 22 days before working my way into transitional housing. People
often ask me how I moved through the system so fast. My only response is because I got off my butt and did something. You have to because no one else will do it ofr you. I had to make life changes in order to succeed. For example I had to cut back on drinking, however it was well worth it to get off the streets. For the 22 days I was houseless I stayed at Right 2 Dream Too. Some nights it gets a little crowded and being next to a bar I is not always fun, but Right 2 Dream Too is what it claims and states to be. It is a safe place to sleep. Safe from other people, safe from worries of theft, safe from violence and safe from the police and city's harassment. In 22 days I got my military benefits from the V.A., safe sleep at Right 2 Dream Too, and worked very hard with Transitions Projects to get in off the streets. Now I am preparing to move into an apartment of my own. It only took me 22 days from Houseless to transitioning to housed with the help of Right 2 Dream Too and TPI. If you want the same you have to get up and get it. Do not take no for an answer. We all know you cannot just sit and wait forever.

 R2DToo Growing
by Krista
I am very thankful of the opportunities that are provided for everyone.
It allows people to do social networking and have fun.  I was able to meet
a nice supporter andI learned a tiny bit about gardening.  I was outside (at R2D2)
and I planted a little cabbage near the front.  Another opportunity that I enjoyed going to
was the garden party.  I liked being able to paint for fun (and free!)  It was good seeing little kids paint too.  At the end of it I was able to bring back two little tomato plants for R2D2.
I realize now that they are next to the small cabbage I planted and other plants that have been transplanted.  Daily I've been watering them; waiting and watching for growth.  Sadly one did not make it, however one is still young.  Today, June 23rd, I noticed little pea pods growing in the big planter box.

Thank  you R2D2.


Hard Lessons
By Donae James Johnican
 In reality
It feels like school's against me
Cus no matter what I know,
If I don't pass the test
Then they won't let me go.
And if I'm not on time
No matter what's going on in my life
I will be penalized.
And now there's tears in my eyes.
I might not walk the stage.
They didn't teach me the right way.
He didn't like his job.
I don't know what he taught,
His only worry was getting paid.

Someday they'll learn to change their ways,
To read the tears of the kids who don't cross the stage.
Teaching's not just a job,
It's like a gift from God,
You gotta do it the right way,
You gotta do it the right way.

I imagined a school before
Where teachers would make me sure
That you were ready for
Any challenge that life would throw at you.
Take time one on one,
So that you knew what to do,
And if you weren't at school
They would pick up the phone
And call you at home.
If you failed a test
They'd let you take it again,
Go over every question til you got 100 percent.

Between a teacher and a student
There must be a bond,
Where the student is willing
And the teacher flexible and headstrong.
Where money comes last
And education comes first.
But until then I guess we'll just have to learn.

Someday they'll learn to change their ways,
To read the tears of the kids who don't cross the stage.
Teaching's not just a job,
It's like a gift from God,
You gotta do it the right way,
You gotta do it the right way.

Donae James Johnican

Donae Johnican was a visionary 16-year old musician who wrote this song shortly before he was struck and killed by a train on March 19, 2015 in San Jose, California.  His passing was mourned and his life celebrated by hundreds of family members, classmates, and friends.  His spirit lives on in our hearts and all around us.  We love you, Donae! This song came from our trip to the Unites States Social Forum in San Jose in June.  We have the family's permission to use this.
Under the Bridge
Reco J.
Recently I went on the Under the Bridge Walk. This is where a group of people walk
under the different bridges in Portland and hand out items that they may need. We hand out
clothes, shoes if we have them, hygiene items and Street Roots books to people residing under the bridges. Not only do we hand out items that are needed, we also talk to people, listen to people and hear what they are saying. The last Bridge Walk I was on we were under the Hawthorne Bridge, but it seemed as though there were not as many people there. After spending some time on the West side, we headed to the East side where it was scarce seeing anyone. As we headed down to 3rd and Harrison, the proposed new site, it became apparent that the East side had been swept. The people are always there, but this time they were not. Hopefully next time they are back so we can see familiar faces and help those who need it most.
Profiling Bill
by Anon
Through so many struggles and let downs it is important to celebrate every triumph.
When Oregon passed the Profiling Bill it was a great triumph! This bill will end targeting of
people based on their race, sexuality, gender, age, or social status. This is great because it
eliminates the targeting of the houseless community because they are or appear to be houseless. Although there are still many flaws in our systems we are finally taking small steps in the right direction. We should be proud of everyone who fought to pass this bill and we should stand up and help fight for our own rights and pass more bills like the Profiling Bill and the Homeless Bill of Rights: Right 2 Rest.
Follows Us a Better Day
by  Sarah C
 Harshness Follows Us a Better Day
Racing thoughts with screaming sirens,
Pacing back and forth for Tyrants.
Aching backs with throbbing knees,
Asking will you help me please?
Backpacks dragging with passing time,
Trying to find anything, even a dime.
Judgments passed with conquering glares,
Walking through the damning stares.
Hope shines with fading light,
Faith comes hard but still in sight.
Corruption comes with ease and care,
Try the law, fight if you dare.
Harshness follows with no fading,
Revolution wins, there's no time for waiting.
 Farewell Thank You
By: Dawn*
Being a member of R2DToo, or "Dreamer" as we call ourselves — I like the people I've met, and I'll miss a lot of the overnighters, as you can't help but get attached to people when you see them daily. Being here gave me a safe place to stay instead of being in a park, and not sleeping for fear of harassment. My son and I used to ride the train around all day, for a safe place to be during the day. Being here gave us the time to find a place that we would be accepted; because of my son's history, finding a safe and affordable place to be is really hard. I'll really miss everyone at Right 2 Dream Too, and am very grateful to everyone for all they have done for us. Thanks to R2DToo, we have gotten our place and are moving in on Friday March 20 at 4.

*Dawn and her son are the 214th and 215th people, who have stayed at and utilized Right 2 Dream Too, that have found housing.
Getting Along
by Gordon B.
I have been staying at Right 2 Dream Too for over 3 years now. I have noticed that
people have a hard time getting along. The members here are an extended family and there is always going to be disagreements in a family. People who have problems with other members should talk it over rather than talk behind their back.
Couples having issues should be left alone to work it out, never get between an arguing
couple, they will gang up on you in the end.
We as the members should be nice to overnighters, even if they can be problematic at
times. Us as members were all on the streets just like they are.
The rest area is primarily a place for sleep and not for food. If we have food that is a
bonus. We give out food but people should remember that sleep is the main reason we are here. People just have to get along, that is the bottom line.
Thanks to all the wonderful folks from R2DToo that made the trek all the way down to Roseburg to promote providing safe places to sleep for our houseless community in Douglas County! You guys are so awesome! So much love from Southern Oregon!!!!

 D'arek B

Blessed, Beautiful Work
Right 2 Dream Too, a self-organized community of unhoused people in downtown Portland, provides a critical level of safety and stability for folks sleeping on the streets. They have a more comprehensive strategy for preventing sexual assault within their community than any church I've been in. The city continues to criminalize them for surviving and protecting one another. R2DToo continues to fight back and save lives. Blessed, beautiful work.

Aaron S.

The Truth About The Sweeps
by Zach
Recently there have been many sweeps in and around the Hawthorne Bridge area. However many people have reported that private security companies have engaged in these sweeps. Companies like Clean & Safe and Pacific Patrol Services have been spotted at many of these sweeps, and storing the belongings taken from the sweeps and having private security companies do this is against Oregon law. Specifically ORS 203.079 Section 1) Part d) says "All unclaimed personal property shall be given to law enforcement officials whether 24-hour notice is required or not." "Law enforcement officials" as defined by this code would be referring to the local police, in our case Portland Police Bureau. Therefore if any private companies or "Rent-a-Cops" are storing any of your property after a sweep they are violating state law since these hired security forces are not "law enforcement" and do not have the authority as outlined in ORS 203.079.

 What Ever happened To Americas Arsenal of Freedoms?
       I've been house-less in Portland, Oregon about three weeks now. Since I've been here I have watched the police harass many of the houseless citizens and watched them bring at least three victims of violence into the Salvation Army Safe House. One of these victims was forced into prostitution and the other two were victims of physical and sexual assault. If it wasn't for Right to Dream Too and many churches, I could also have been a victim of one of these violent crimes or suffered from illness due to hunger.
       When this great country of ours was founded our government was  only started to protect property and keep order and the Church's were to help the people through poverty and illness. Over the years after many deaths do to starvation and disease we changed this and according to the United States Constitution our Government is suppose to also protect and serve the people despite our financial status.                                
Here in the United States we have something called the “Four Freedoms” also known as “Americas Arsenal of Freedoms, “freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom of religion and freedom of expression” these freedoms are suppose to be protected and up held by our government.  Where are Americas “Arsenal of Freedoms?”  America has won many wars with these freedoms, can we win this civil war against poverty and all the suffering that accompanies it without them?

by Claire M


 Prenatal Nightmare
by Amber
I have had the not so wonderful experience the last couple weeks of trying to access resources for houseless pregnant women. It is frustrating experience at best. While there are a few resources online for housing that look good at first glance, the answer when you seek help is the same everywhere: you must wait until you're 6 months pregnant then get on their shelter wait list. The average waiting time to get in is 2 to 3 months. This leaves women on the streets that are about to give birth in the situation that they are basically waiting for DHS to take their babies at the hospital. Not because they did anything wrong, but simply because they lack housing. We also went to a certain agency that's supposed to do street outreach to help people find housing. We left a note for the outreach worker that is supposed to handle the downtown area as well as several phone messages since then letting him know where to find us and a number we can be reached at. We have gotten NO response whatsoever. My question is this: With all the plans and committees Portland is supposed to have in place, why is it that they have not looked at this hopelessly broken system and realized that this needs to change? My fiancée and I figured out the first day that the only way we will be successful is if we don't try the social services. Pregnant women shouldn't be put in the position of worrying about having their babies ripped out of their arms at the hospital because of a broken system. If social services cannot help because of these policies that state that women must be at least 6 months pregnant, and doctors and hospitals report you to DHS for being houseless, making women afraid to not only seek prenatal care but also to stand up and say I'm pregnant. I'm houseless, and I need help to hospital social workers, then we are in a lose lose situation where families suffer and women experience even more unnecessary mental trauma.

It's official, we now have a place! I want to put a big thank you out to all the people that have helped us along the way, you know who you are and how much we appreciate you for helping us in our time of need. Also I want to thank Right 2 Survive and Right To Dream Too for providing shelter from the storm. Without these kinds of programs and direct action initiatives people like Lynsey and I would not have a place to be safe together and work towards meeting goals. PORTLAND: Don't shut them down!
Ryan C


Right 2 Dream Too
by Chaz
Thank you for giving me the Right 2 Dream too.
When the nights where so cold, and my feelings where blue.
I could of gave up, and just died on these streets.
But my soul and my pride was to strong to defeat.
Remember some nights will be cold and seem blue.
But one thing we all have, is the right to dream too.


The Dirty Side of Portland
Members of R2S and R2DToo recently took the Dirty Side of Portland Bus Tour with Groundwork and Know
Your City. We traveled first to Cathedral Park where we learned about the Superfund cleanup timeline and
community outreach plan. The Superfund cleanup is a federal government program that is instrumental in cleaning up the nation's uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. Portland was put on the national priority list in 2000 because of its toxicity from decades of industrial pollution contaminating the river with pesticides, heavy metals and PCBs. Estimated time for proposal is sometime in 2015. The results will then be released publicly. It is okay to swim or participate in recreational activities in the river but to be sure to wash well with soap and water afterward and clean anything you use. Do not eat fish that live in the harbor; carp, catfish or bass. They contain high PCBs from feeding because of the toxic sediment. We then traveled to Emerson Street Garden, a pilot brownfield project of Groundwork. A brownfield site is a property that may have difficulties trying to redevelop/reuse because of contaminants, hazardous substances or other pollutants. This property was once contaminated and has been transformed. It’s a place for the community to come together to share, network, to learn about the environment and gardening. The last site we visited was a brownfield at 124th and Division, a vacant lot that has had many difficulties with redevelopment over the years. McDonald’s made an offer, but neighborhoods objected, as they didn’t want another fast-food place. David-Douglas High School students got together with Groundwork and created some renderings as suggestions for what to do with the property, including a community garden, place for local business or nonprofits Nothing has been done with this property at this time.

 by Ruthie B.

For the past 3 months I have been a member at Right 2 Dream Too. During this time I have been able to utilize the programs and facilities downtown. R2D2 has given me an opportunity to have a stable place to lie my head on a regular basis, while allowing me to help my outdoor brothers and sisters. During these past months I have become shockingly aware of the lack of shelters in the greater Portland area. I believe we need more facilities for Men, Women, and couples. Ultimately more places where people are treated as human beings.

by Mark M.


Here Come the Chief
The rest area got noisy with something sounding like “President Obama is outside our rest area!” being yelled all around the place. I was in the office when I heard the commotion, so I waltzed out to see what was going on, and when I got around the corner I see this guy in a suit that looked exactly like Barack Obama standing there. People were all running around like they were late for dinner. We all were convinced this was the real thing and I started looking around, there was not one Federal looking guy with a cheap suit, black SUV and and earpiece hanging near him watching everybody. When we made it out there, “Mr. Obama” then proceeded to start talking to us and the I knew we were being punked. He didn't sound like Obama, and he had a N.Yorker accent. He was a nice enough guy though, we all came out to get pictures with him so we could brag to Charlie Hales about having friends in higher places. He turned out to be actor double they called BronxObama campaigning for support for the President.

 by Brad


I want to thank R2D2 for giving me and my wife a place, a safe place to live, wisdom about our homeless community and the strength to keep fighting for a safe place to rest, so we can have the energy to go out the next day and do the right thing, and make the right choice.  Thanks to them we was able to be safe and move out to our own place.  Without R2D2 we would not have been able to do it.
Thank you,
Derrick Shelton


They helped me grow
(R2DToo) Right To Dream Too!
They helped me grow within myself.  They helped me have self worth for myself.  They taught me to be more honest with myself and others.  They showed me what real family was about.  They gave me strength and knowledge about different things.  They gave me different resources that could help me.  They had people who would come and just talk and spend time with us.  Ibrahim and his wife Lisa taught me a lot about myself and other things.  They are both very loving and caring and understanding people.
They taught me about being houseless not homeless.
May God be with all of you,
Mona Shelton


January 13, 2012
To Ibrahim, Mike Dee, Trillium
and all those who represent the Right to Dream Too
My name is Adam Gilfillan, and I am writing this letter as a sign of appreciation for those who have allowed me to have a safe place to rest and relax.  A place of safety from the streets, a place where I could go, collect my thoughts, and escape from the crazy, chaotic world of being homeless in Portland.
I feel that there should be more places like yours where one can seek sanctuary and be in a drug- and weapons-free environment.  It comforts me that one can create a place like yours where the larger community can be so helpful providing food, clothing and other donations.  As a result their situation can be made better.
Thanks to all those who support the Right to Dream.  I wish for you continuing success in all your endeavors.
Yours Truly,

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for providing a place of comfort and safety for those experiencing homelessness in Portland. You clearly made a difference in my good friend Adam Gilfillan's life and I am in your debt for it. If you see him please ask him to call Paul in Boise; he is missed greatly and is well loved among his friends in Idaho.