Dreamer's Stories

Columbia Riverkeeper's
by Maryanne

Columbia Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect the Columbia River and all life connected to it. Fishing provides a free, protein-rich food source for many families in our area.  But decades of toxic pollution threaten the public’s right to eat healthy fish. When samples of local fisherman’s suckerfish from the Columbia Slough went to the lab for toxic analysis, the results were stunning:

PCBs 270 times safe levels
Arsenic 100 times safe levels
Mercury 2.5 times safe levels
Toxic flame retardants

These toxic chemicals can increase cancer risk and harm immune, reproductive, endocrine, and nervous systems in humans and aquatic life. Too often, houseless-encampments are the focus of ‘river clean up’ efforts. This shifts the spotlight away from meaningful efforts to reduce toxics in the river and in the fish we eat. When state agencies and local elected officials buy this misguided message, they fail to use their full power to enforce strict laws to reduce toxics in our rivers and fish or to create appropriate solutions for housing justice.

Columbia Riverkeeper is excited to partner with Right to Survive on this environmental and social justice issue.  Together, we’re expanding the fishing and camping advocacy brochure to include the Columbia River and Slough. Other ideas include: organizing a Bridge Walk-type event for the houseless communities along the Columbia River and Slough and hosting a free public event where the connection between clean rivers and housing rights is explained to the public. For more information, to join in or provide ideas, please contact Mary Ann Warner at maryann@columbiariverkeeper.org

Are You Ready to Rumble?
By Mike S.
We are so glad, as an organization, that city council approved are moved by a four-to-one vote. However, we are not happy that the fight has, for the most part, just begun. During the public hearing on our move, the neighborhood associations in the area were opposed to the move. The argument that was used the most was "it is inhumane to have people live in tents." As a homeless person I was like WTF. Is it Humane to see people sleeping on a sidewalk in a downpour rain with nothing to protect themselves? Is it Humane to see someone look through garbage for their next meal, or Panhandle for a couple of bucks to go to McDonald's for a hamburger off the value menu. Now I might have a warped sense of what Humane means, but all of that is anything but humane.
Now the neighborhood associations are vowing to take their fight to the courts. They think that the vote was illegal because the land was not zoned for the use that we plan on using it for. The city looked into the lot of land that we plan to move to and found that it was okay for our use. This was all done at our request and found to be legal. Now we are looking at the legal fight on this issue.
We won our fight, now we are fighting again. Fights are nothing new for us. We have had to fight for our rights, both constitutional, as well as human rights. This is also a moral fight. We are fighting to be treated the way they, whoever they are, want to be treated. So when I say "are you ready to rumble " I mean it. Bring it on! It's time for a smack down.

You Have the Right
By Anonymous
How many times have you heard, “You have the right to remain silent.”  Most likely you have heard these words on TV crime shows, where criminals talk to the cop to present themselves innocent.  In reality, they’re just hurting themselves.  Let’s take a look at the most basic right we all have, but are quick to give up when confronted by the police.
There are two components to this right.  “You have the right to remain silent”, and “anything you say can, and will, be used against you in a court of law”.
Let’s look at “You have the right to remain silent”.  When you are confronted by the police, best thing to do is to be quiet and not say a word.  You being silent doesn’t mean you are guilty, what is means is that you know your rights and that can’t be held against you.  Also you don’t want to make the police’s jobs any easier by talking.  Let them do their jobs, that’s why they get payed the big bucks.
Now, on to the second component, “Anything you say can, and will, be used against you in a court of law”.  This is reason enough to remain silent, you don’t want to give the police ammo to use against you.  It’s almost like you throwing a length of rope around a branch to hang yourself, so remain silent!  I can’t stress that enough.
The reason I know most of these basic rights is because my father was a cop for 28 years.  My childhood was growing up knowing these rights, living them, and foremost, not giving them up when the going got tough.  Innocent or not, don’t give them up, DO NOT TALK!
My next article will deal with what to do when confronted by the police.

Halo vs. Horns
By Carlos C.
Halo is the circle of life is a ring of friendship that has no loose ends. As the horn that separates in the middle with no connection to life.  It only spikes and severs one spirit.  Halo, behold my soul, there is always the high and low, behold my soul. There is a center.
Horns let go, you thorns of life.  I have been scorned in believing, and you are wrong.
I need to be strong in the halo of life!
Be brave, fear not the failures in life’s lows, for the Lord is there when one fears, and sheds some tears for I am dear in spirit of life.
Find thy peace in thy heart!

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”.

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.

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 Right2DreamToo 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/D2D2 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 $15NOW 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.

Two Rivers
 by Ib
   We all get thirsty at times, and when we do , well we want to quince that awkward feeling well at least we try. Now the big Question is what kind of Liquid we decide to do it with. Some use Alcohol, (mainly beer), Some coffee, Water, Tea, Milk, Pop-Soda, Smoothie, Snow cones, etc. etc., you get the point. However, I say about 85% of us use WATER TO QUENCH OUR THIRST. That's the real reality.  Do they use tap water, bottle water, water with a filter on the faucet, lemon flavor water or when I was growing up and the yuppies brought in style Perrier.
   What happens when you don't have these things freely at your exposal, Like the Houseless Community? They are asked to leave areas where they can get fresh water. They are ask to leave the inner part of the city. So they reside on the water fronts of the TWO RIVERS, ( Willamette and Columbia). These two rivers have been being polluted for about a hundred years. And the houseless community are forced to Drink, Cook, Grow Vegetation, Eat from them and Bathe in them. Also their Pets do the same thing. The Two Rivers are POLUTTED. Most people don't know this. However, Members of PHCC (Portland Harbor Community Coalition), Right 2 Survive, Columbia Riverkeepers, Groundworks, Community Action Group are meeting with EPA and DEQ to discuss on how to clean the rivers up. So that when we want to go fishing our fish intake will not be limited to 8 ounce per month. Startling Huh? You can join us in this hectic quest to help clean the TWO RIVERS. Contact your EPA or Senators and Representatives  or join us for our frequent River walks. To know more about this contact the Organization mention above. Or Visit Right 2 Dream too on 4th and n.w. Burnside, where we have people knowledgeable about these issues.

R2S Meets Superfund Cleanup  
by Lisa
R2S met with interested parties involved with the Willamette river Superfund cleanup.
Earlier in November members of Right 2 Survive attended a meeting with the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss the upcoming public recommended public testimony for the next and future phases of cleanup to the Willamette.   The EPA plans to release their finding from recent years and next steps in reconstruction of the river and land surrounding it's banks.    Although soil, sediment and water samples have not been conducted for many years they believe there has been improvement to the water quality. The EPA believes there has been sufficient water drainage from near by channels and mountain run off to imply improvement in the water supply. Sediment and topsoil, however is still an environmental concern for residents.   fish consumption is another factor that is very alarming. They have posted signs warning of the dangers. However any consumption by pregnant women or children  would not be more than 6 to 8 ounces per month. Even then they don't consider eating fish out of the Willamette safe. When asked if they had an expected time the answer was possible in 20 to 50 years. If that is NOT dodging an answer I don't know what is!    Public testimony begins in a few weeks and as will last for 60 days. If you are interested in giving testimony about the river cleanup contact the EPA through their website. Let them know how you feel. Ask about job creation. How n where are they moving the houseless who live along the river banks and use the water to drink or bath or clean their clothes. How are they holding industry accountable for centuries of polluting and dumping into the river? These efforts have been going on for more than 15 years, when will the waterways be clean n when can we safely eat the fish and other wildlife?   Right 2 Survive, Portland Harbor Community Coalition, CAG, Anti displacement and Groundworks, Willamette River Keepers are just some of the organizations asking these questions and making recommendations to work on solution to this environmental injustice that affects all of us living in Portland and down river from us. 

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?
 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.

R2S Grants
by  Lisa
November has been an exciting time for Right 2 Survive. We along with 24th other Organizations from across Oregon, applied for a 3 year opportunity to develop relationships, build capacity and training through a partnership between Mackenzie River Gathering and Meyer Memorial Trust. Nine grassroots organizations including Right 2 Survive received acceptance to participate in this unique capacity building initiative.
  We (R2S) had our first visit with MRG on the 2nd here in Portland to set a plan of action over the course of the first year. MRG and MMT followed up with a gathering of the 9 organizations that are the finalist to meet and learn of each others body of work. There were grassroots activist from all over Oregon. All doing important and much needed work in their communities.
   The next time we get together we will head to southern Oregon with the direction and focus to propel Right 2 Survives work further.

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"

The Willamette Star
by Krista
On September 23rd, I went on the tour of the Willamette Star. 
There were two floors that had an indoor and outdoor area. Although I explored all the areas of the boat, I sat mostly at the wooded tables upstairs.  They served a lot of food and I had some crackers and orange cheese.  (The Ginger Ale mixed with Cola was exceptional.)  It was a fair ride and I've never been on a boat that big before.  While listening to the tour Lady, I learned that the area that had yellow fencing used to be a boat repair place in 1901-1950.  She said there were PCB's in the river.
In Eugene  
by  Rodney
The police are going nuts. State police gave seven $1000.00 trespass tickets to the group (OURS), a group not unlike those of you who founded Dignity Village.  They were camped out on ODOT property, and ODOT had given them 10 days notice. ODOT then brought in the state police to give them the $1000.00 tickets under a Lane County law.
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.

Pitching at KBOO by Lisa
 It is pledge time at Kboo, and Right 2 Survive was there on Wednesday to help do our part for the drive. Right 2 Survive Radio Hosts Ibrahim Mubarak, Lisa Fay, and members Theodore Gilder along with Mike Summers all came to help. We had a ball answering phones as folks called in with their pledges to support the station. However the most fun came when it was time to do our pitches. We talked about the shows that folks were listening to.
 Since our show R2S Radio topic was on Denver’s houseless, we explained our relationship with folks from Denver. We received a text during the show from Denver, they were listening over the net! Our pitches had humor and impact to our listeners.
 During the second hour we pitched on a show about Hip Hop culture and the impact it has had ever the last 20 years. The show is called Hard Knock Radio, and the featured artist was Blackalicious. The show inspired the way we done our ask for funds. We were creative and having fun.
  KBOO has many opportunities to become involved. One way is to come down to 20 SE 8th ave., and ask what they need. Some of the things people do is answer the front desk phones and greet people as they come through the door, back office helping with filing and other stuff. There is free trainings to learn how to put a show together and operate the equipment in the studios. All are great reasons to learn about community radio and what is going on in our community. Oh, during pledge drives Kboo always needs people to answer phones and have fun!
  Right 2 Survive Radio will air next on the 14th of October at 6 pm. It’s the second Wednesday as always.We would love to have people join us for our listening parties that begin at 5:30 pm at the Right 2 Dream Too Rest Area.

Cruise of the Willamette
by Lisa
  On September 3, 2015 the Portland Boat Tours embarked on a 3 hour tour of the
Willamette River to hear and see about the Superfund site. This was by invitation only. Many of us unhoused and our allies registered and were excited to be cruising the river on the Spirit of Portland. However as the scheduled day approached we were contacted and told it was overbooked and we had to wait for another time. We were limited to two people.
   So three of us showed to check out what they were saying. As we boarded we were greeted warmly as we made our way to the upper deck to find a great spot to view the river. Our long time supporter Ruthie B, was also on the boat and excited to take photos.
   While leaving the dock a light rain began to fall making this trip very Portlandish. Waiters came around serving horderves and beverages as the onboard speakers welcomed everyone. Within minutes the Environmental Protection Agency representative began speaking about the intended cleanup and restoration of the river. We had many points of interest pointed out to us as we sailed toward Suave Island and pasted the Willamette Cove. We saw were ships are dry docked and told of the lead toxin that enter the waters from the repainting of ships. Years of industry pouring all sorts of toxic waste into the river and how decades later they are embedded in the soil, however the water quality has improved!
  Strangely, there was a small reference to the people camping along the shores and in boats. I didn’t hear how they were informing the campers about the contaminates or the health risk associated with staying there, or any reference to helping them find a means to housing, health care or work.
   During the ride we mingled with a Congresswoman from the Southeast side, Sen. Dembrow and some Aides that accompanied them on this trip. two members of Portland Harbor Community Coalition (PHCC), were also in attendance and thought one of us should have spoken on mic about the effects of the river on unhoused people. We came to listen not to impose our wisdom.
  As the 3 hour cruise wound down the lady that had corresponded with us about the trip came over and asked us how they did with the information on the Superfund Site. We gave her our polite answers, however, much was left out about the cleanup plans, the Anti displacement plan and how to incorporate the houseless in employment opportunities for the work that needs to be done. We were also concerned at the lack of signs referencing the dangers of fishing, consuming and recreation along the shores.
  A little follow up to the conversations leading up to this trip. The Portland Spirit has rescheduled another trip for the unhoused to be able to attend and have the talks more tailored to our situation. This should be happening before the end of the month. I know we will show up and teach these folks a little about relating to us as we are humans and have many of the same concerns as they do while on the next cruise up river.

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.
 This is how bullies were made
by Anon
I'm tired of people thinking people are buying people to get a head of the game.
I thought people were supposed to help other people when they are down,
not kicking either party down while giving or expecting the help from each other.
Since we weren't taught how to respect each other or give an open hand to each other. we have had to learn the hard way.
This is how bullies were made.
 Face to Face With Houselessness
by Mike S. 
Last weekend we went to San Francisco for our face to face meeting with WRAP.  It was fun and sad at the same time.What I saw made me know that I have it good here in Portland.  The houseless in San Francisco are treated like cattle, herded into certain areas.  Just a 1 1/2 blocks from the WRAP office there is a bus/BART (subway) stop, where I didn't see one person laying down.  They all sat up to rest.  This is because of the sit/lie laws, which are more strict than they are here.  We even saw spike strips in front of a bank, so people couldn't sit there.  If that wasn't bad enough, I didn't see a store front that didn't have a fence and gate in front of the door to keep the houseless from sleeping in front of of their store.  So if it rains the houseless have nowhere to go to stay dry.
These are just a couple of examples that show me that the "Homeless Bill of Rights" is a needed piece of legislation.
 Homeless Bill of Rights 
by Trish R.
July 30-August 2nd we attended the WRAP (Western Regional Advocacy Project) face to face meeting in San Francisco for the Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign.
We held an action on Friday where we marched, and protested the BID's (Business Improvement Districts). On Saturday, we spent the day planning our year to help pass the Homeless Bill of Rights, which involves Oregon, California, and Colorado.  We will reintroduce the Bill again for the 2016 Legislative Session in January.
We have a lot of work ahead of us in the coming months, and are very hopeful that this very important bill is passed this coming year.  This Bill would make it legal to sit, lie, sleep, and share food, all basic human rights that everyone has until they become houseless. If you are interested in helping us, please either visit our website at www.wraphome.org or come to our meetings held the 1st Friday of every month at Sister's of the Road Cafe on NW 6th & Davis, at 4pm.
 We don't need no stinking permits
by Theo
I'm sitting in The R2Dtoo Member Lounge (known as Area 52) and I'm trying not to let the lull of loosing some notes from my trip to San Francisco deter my thoughts on the trip. I enjoyed my trip there.I met some new friends and fellow advocates from Ca, and Co. I also went on two night walks with IB and Ptery(the 2nd night) and Mike, Trish, Jerri, Sarah, Ib, Lisa, Ptery (who would do five second cameos to the core R2Dtoo group) lol and a few members from our collection of W.R.A.P group supporters(on the 3rd night). Lots of beautiful Murals and women. Some in which my friends was exploring me to go after. But my mind is set on Someone else in Portland. So at times i was the only one without anyone. Unless I opted to stay in Ca or go to Co. little did they know. :) One of the great highlights in this trip was doing and Direct Action march. Permits? "We don't need no stinking permits". The police followed us but only bother the homeless man across the street in Front of Macy's'. Ib, Lisa and myself went to make sure the guy wasn't being overly harassed but the guy started leaving so we came back to the march. If you seen the video you will know that people worldwide are being harassed by the local police. Who are seen as another threat to the Houseless community ( in addition to gentrification problems being caused by B.I.D.) and seems to be fueled by each other. My quest to become part of the whole that creates a better world concerns me when I look at how some people have no idea. They are walking around with rose colored glasses. I feel that some people need to have someone (maybe me) snatch those glasses. There goes my Water, here comes the fire. Stay tuned for more. 

 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.
 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 snot 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.
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.
Jerry C

Equality is something that all people crave. That however is not always how it happens.
In fact, rarely is there any equality in any aspect of life. However it is what most people want and strive for. In any fight numbers count for something. So, wouldn't it make sense for everyone to fight for equality since everyone wants it? That is what makes sense to me. If we can look past the minor details that mean nothing in the long run and focus on equality then we together can get it. Every small victory you have ever achieved could seem smaller compared to the victory of helping someone else find their humanity in equality. There is no failure, just learning steps to success.
 So it's Private Public Property?
by Theo
During our trip to the USSF in San Jose I met one of the residents of the Houseless camps known as The Jungle. Her name is Michelle. I asked her what happened to the jungle. She told me that everything started out well. Small groups gathered there and made The jungle their home. She said that the problems started when more people started coming to the jungle as refuge and a few turned up dead. I wanted to learn more, but as I was interviewing her the local police showed up. The were Harassing the bus driver and some of the Freedom Bus riders that stayed behind when A few of us went to see what the Jungle looked like. I quickly went to gather the group that was deep in the jungle. We re grouped and confronted the Police who were trying to Talk down to us. Brad and IB asked them who own the property that we(R2Dtoo/R2S) was visiting. He responded the city owns it. So I chimed in and said so anyone paying taxes is technically allowed seeing how we are tax paying people. They threatened us with fining us $1000/person. But in reality they know that had they proceeded with this ploy. It would have given us more tackling fuel for our cause. I enjoyed the over all experience. I really feel the need to stay active in the growing Universal cause.

 The Freedom Bus
by Brad
    As you've been reading, a group of Right 2 Survive and WRAP went to San Jose, CA. To the US Social Forum for a  5 day summit for social issues facing our communities in this country.
    Our trip was made possible by Freedom Bus, a group of volunteers transporting humanitarian aid of dry food products and medical supplies to Central/South American countries and to Cuba by way of cargo flights from Tampico, Mexico.
    R2S would like to thank Rick and the group for getting us to and form safely on this successful trip. It was a very casual experience.

 The Jungle
by Trish
Last week we were in San Jose, CA for the United States Social Forum.  On our way out of town, we stopped and visited The Jungle, which was a 300 person homeless encampment.  The camp was swept this past December, and in the process, a woman was almost killed.  Of all the people that were displaced, only 144 were housed.  Those people were disabled and elderly.  The rest of those 300 are still houseless and have been swept several more times.  About 80 of them have ended up in a camp under a bridge on state property.  They call this new camp The Village, and though they are outside, they have tried to organize themselves somewhat.  They do not have bathrooms or garbage service, but they do their best to keep their living areas clean.  They have fire pits, and use them to cook.  They even have pets.  I was able to speak to a woman named Virginia, and she said although it's difficult, that is the only way she knows how to live anymore.  It was a heartbreaking visit and I wish them well.

 A Case Against Misogyny, Patriarchy, Chauvinism
by Trena
I attended a great PMA (mini seminar) at the US Social Forum in San Jose. It involved issues surrounding the aforementioned issues.As a woman working in male heavy occupations I was well aware of the disparity in all aspects of the workplace and even in volunteerism. I wish I had a dime for every time I heard a member of the "Good Old Boys Club" I could have put it in the bank and lived off the interest. I thought this was a seminar that I knew everything!!! I was wrong! My big surprise when the room was half filled with men. They admitted to behaving in a chauvinistic manner without even knowing it. Many of these gentlemen stated they had been conditioned from an early age by their fathers that women were the weaker sex and therefore had to be treated as "breakable" and emotionally fragile. They would not have ever entertained being physically abusive to women but would make statements such as "it must be your time of the month" or ",need a Midol?". They would assign these pithy little snarky remarks for the same type of emotions that men tagged as being " assertive " to other men. I was so proud to be sitting with such intelligent and insightful men. They have very lucky women in their lives!

 Jungle Unrest
by Joanna
The seminar on the Jungle talked about the relocation and how San Jose handled relocating the homeless there.
The sweeps conducted has actually ended up covering many locations starting at the Jungle and still going on. They are now trying to move them from the bridge where the city has " herded"  them to at the present time.
The city promised 200 housing vouchers, yet only 144 was housed. Nothing compared to what is left to be housed from just the original location.
San Jose spent 2 million dollars to clean the Jungle, yet there is still a lot of trash, personal items, camping gear, and more left. The only thing gone is the people.
With 52 sweeps a year at $10,000 a sweep, San Jose can't house just the people who lived in the Jungle.
San Jose spends one billion dollars a year to keep people homeless. It is a campaign to keep the pressure on and keep them on the move to either give up and get housing or leave the city.

 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.

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.

 The Lease in S.E.
by Trena
When I was offered the land on 52nd & Woodstock for a new rest area called "My Backyard" I was so thrilled. I went to look at the property and saw it had a "For Lease" sign on it.
I called the listing agent st Cascade Reality. When I identified myself the and another man standing close by began to curse saying  "we don't want a  f****** homeless camp in our neighborhood."  The man on the phone " Matt" said he had grown up in the Woodstock neighborhood and he knows  "no one wants a homeless camp". He added that the owner has plans to put a large structure on the site. I then posed the question " if you are going to put a large structure on it then why do you have a "for lease sign on the property". He then slammed the phone down.
I was advised by the Mayor's office that the owner of the property had called Mayor Hale's office to offer the land for sale specifically for a rest area for the homeless. I had a meeting with Father Ron at Our Lady of Sorrows (which is directly across the street fro the land) later that day. The good Father told me that one of the church's parishioners owned the land SO STAND BY!


 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.

*****************************************************************************  A 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.


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 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.


 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


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


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.


 How can you write a newsletter article?
"Hey you. If you are reading this chances are you have just received a copy of the Right 2 Survive bi weekly newsletter or you are reading this on our Facebook or blog. Every two weeks we get individuals from in and around the house less community to share their stories on events, issues, concerns, actions and experiences that occur in our community. Our newsletter articles can come from anybody, anywhere, not just from people involved in Right 2 Dream Too and Right 2 Survive. I was unsure if people who read the newsletter on our Under the Bridges Walk were aware they could also write in the newsletter as well and so as the Bridges Walk Coordinator I wanted to tell people that they can also share their stories too.

If you need something to write about look at your local neighborhood. How is your neighborhood association treating house less people? Are there cops harassing house less folks in your area? Have you been directly targeted? Have there been camping notices put up? Do you know of any events or actions coming up? Do you know of any meetings or organizations you or someone you know are a part of and want to speak about them? If you or someone you know have any of these experiences we encourage you to share them with us. By sharing these experiences we can all better understand each other, know what our common struggles are and be in a position to stand in stronger solidarity with one another. That is what this newsletter stands for.

You can submit your article to Right 2 Survive by the 1st and 3rd Mondays by 5pm, the day before the bridge walk. You can also submit them to the front desk at Right 2 Dream Too at NW 4th & Burnside or ask about how you can use our computers to type an article. If an article doesn't make it into our newsletter we will try to put it our next newsletter or in our blog. Your stories will be greatly appreciated! We would love to hear and share the truth on the streets. Spread the word!

By Zack


 The Melting Pot is Getting Bigger
For the homeless people of the state of Oregon and Washington as of 1987, due to it would have it would have been in place by the time that all the mentally ill was released.Due to the fact that it was ruled that it was illegal to hold them.  We would have been able to handle our own, and show the other states like Washington how to handle their neighborhoods, how to deal with the problem of homelessness and the mentally ill homeless, in our communities.  The federal government has been allocating monies to deal with the houseless, but it is not reaching those in need, or getting to the people that know how to set up the proper organizations. There is also a large community of homeless veterans that are left out here because of lack of services also that fell through the cracks, they are just now learning how to get out of this due to Undivided House. The rest of us are still falling through the cracks. The melting pot is getting bigger and bigger, since other states are using Oregon as a dumping ground for the mentally ill. We should be calling our politicians and letting them know that we are here, and we need help. If you would like to contact me about Undivided House.

by Thomas M.

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 To 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

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,

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.

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.