Monday, September 7, 2015


       At the time I was asked if I wanted to go meet Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, I was reluctant to go. What in the name of common sense would we talk about. Cigars? Chicago? Weapons of Mass Destruction? What. Oh! I know, Poverty that's plaguing this Rich Country.

      When I first arrived at the secret place where she (Hillary) would be I was asked what I was doing and that help is in the back. I held my composure due that I knew that the organizer of this event was stupid. In that time the Host walked up to me and gave me a hug and mention that she was happy that I could make. So I turned  stuck my tongue out at the organizer. Ha that felt good. I was searched , my bag was searched and the magic wand was waved over me to check for anything metal, Of course.

  As I enter to greeting / meeting area, I saw a host of plastic white stale faces, taking me back in years to when my father was running for Mayor in a Suburb of Chicago Ill. I remember all the corny Jokes, all the Political Jargon etc. So from past experience I Ibrahim a former Chicago Gang Banger, Ex Drug Dealer/User, College Graduate, Aerospace Technician, Houseless Person and Advocate, but most an African American Muslim, Joined the Party. I combined my knowledge, of Academic and Street awareness to mingle. I past out information and DVD's about Right 2 Dream too, a Rest Area for Houseless People in Portland Oregon. I talk with the Richie Rich of this state. I'm with the who's who and it all reminded of what I experience from my pas.t Nothing changed, the Jokes, the lobbying, the lying, except there I was talking about what they didn't want to hear. What are you doing to help people that are experiencing Houselessness? What are you doing to stop poverty in this Country. here  read /or look at this. this is what the 99% of the city is doing. Have I got any response yet? Nope!!

  Then the time came to meet Hillary I was told that I couldn't give her anything. I had to put her name on it and leave the package on the table(did she get it? your guess is well as mine). So I grab her hand shook it, while talking to her about Houselessness. I had 30 seconds to do this. She agreed to add the topic to her platform and that we all should be looking for solutions. She was elegant, what Politicians is not. Oh that's right we have the" Donald". then in the middle of our conversation I was told my 30 second was over so I turned around an took the foto and then to her surprised I grabbed her hand again for and slight 10 second for my Friend Lee Larson who was not able to make it and All the Houseless people that was out side suffering. As a reminder to her you have been put on Notice." YOU SHOULD EXPECT US"!!!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Advocates for the homeless say tent cities would relieve Portland’s growing outdoor sleeping problem

By Anna Griffin, The Oregonian
       On any given morning over the past few weeks, sunrise along the west bank of the Willamette River meant Mother Nature’s wake-up call for dozens of homeless people who spent the night sleeping on public property.
       Some had simply unrolled a sleeping bag or folded themselves up on the park benches along Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Others parked all their worldly possessions — shopping carts, bikes, suitcases and filled-to-bursting garbage bags — in increasingly large, impromptu settlements beneath the Hawthorne, Morrison and Burnside bridges.
       To a certain degree this is expected. Summer brings people who’ve been hidden, in cars and abandoned buildings or on friends’ couches, out into the sunshine. The end of the rainy season also coincides with the arrival of a different, usually younger population of homeless travelers.
       But this year’s boom feels more intense, advocates and homeless people say, particularly in downtown Portland and along the Willamette’s west bank. It’s a reminder of a fundamental truth in the effort to end homelessness: Portland, like most large U.S. cities, forbids public camping but has no feasible means of consistently enforcing the ban.
       It’s adding to a slow thaw in how civic leaders talk and think about a concept that would have seemed outlandish, and out of the political question, a few years ago: legalized, if limited, camping. Government-authorized tent cities.
       “I know the general public doesn’t want to hear it,” said Israel Bayer, a homeless advocate and executive director of Street Roots, the alternative weekly paper sold by homeless vendors. “No, it’s not popular. No, it’s not an answer. But at some point, the gap between places to sleep and people needing them is too great. We’re overwhelmed.”

The camping ban

Camping, or in technical terms “establishing or maintaining a temporary place to live,” is illegal in Portland, along with most other Oregon communities.
       As a general rule, Portland police enforce the law, and one that forbids erecting temporary structures on public property, on a complaint-driven basis unless camps grow so large or so obvious that they pose a public health or safety danger.
       “Our primary complaints are about garbage and human waste,” Assistant Chief Bob Day said. “It really isn’t about the people so much as it’s about the stuff.
       “We try to operate in a very restrained fashion in terms of understanding that we have almost 2,000 people outside every night, and even if all 2,000 were ready to be housed today, we couldn’t do it.”
       Put more plainly: If you stay out of sight, out of trouble and away from large groups, officers usually leave you alone.
       “We are not interested in the unsheltered man or woman who is sleeping in a doorway and picks up after themselves and is just looking for a safe place for the night,” said Sgt. Nate Voeller of Central Precinct’s neighborhood response team. “We know as well as anybody that people need a place to sleep and that we don’t have enough options in Portland.”
       Earlier this summer officers spent three weeks working to reduce the number of people sleeping outside along the Eastbank Esplanade, on the streets near OMSI and under the Fremont Bridge’s east end. They were responding to complaints from neighbors and to camps that had grown too sprawling to control or ignore, officers said.
       Homeless advocates called the effort abusive and unnecessary. Officers object to that characterization and say most people left voluntarily. Police made 896 “contacts” during the three-week operation but arrested only 12 people, six on outstanding warrants.
       The problem: In the inner city, the number of places to hide is shrinking. Development in the Central Eastside Industrial District and inner Southeast, including the redevelopment of Washington High School and St. Francis Park, longtime refuges for homeless men and women, have resulted in more calls to authorities. So the crackdown on the inner eastside helps explain the apparent, anecdotal jump in the number of people sleeping in the inner westside.
       “Historically, a complaint-driven system resulted in, for the most part, people being OK,” Bayer said. “The problem is a complaint-driven system when there’s really nowhere safe and secluded for people to go.”

Embracing tent cities

In the U.S., tent cities — semipermanent communities in temporary shelters — date to at least the Great Depression. Rising numbers of homeless men and women have prompted a few communities to consider them.
       It’s usually a last-ditch approach, as in Phoenix, where community leaders allowed an overflowing shelter to expand into an adjacent parking lot for almost two years. Or it’s grudging: San Jose leaders, facing overwhelmed shelters and drops in federal affordable-housing money, allowed a 68-acre shantytown dubbed “the Jungle” to grow to almost 300 people, large enough that it appeared on Google Maps, before shutting it down in 2014.
       In Seattle legal camping has been a small but accepted part of the approach to homelessness for more than a decade. Churches and other religious institutions were allowed to host homeless camps several years ago.
       This past spring the Seattle City Council approved three new tent cities regulated by the city for as many as 100 residents each. The expansion was Mayor Ed Murray’s response to a surge in homelessness and the number of illegal camps in hard-to-miss places such as along highways and in public parks.
       “The impact those illegal camps have on our community are huge in terms of public health, sometimes in terms of the general public but even more than that in terms of the safety of individuals living outside on their own without the protection of a community,” said Sola Plumacher, a Seattle Human Services Department worker who helps coordinate establishment of the new settlements. “We’re calling this an interim survival mechanism."
       Seattle’s new camps will not be allowed in public parks, must be within a half-mile of a transit stop and must move at least once a year. Social service providers will run them and the city will pay as much as $200,000 annually for basic services such as trash collection and portable toilet rentals. That’s far less than the cost to build or rent and operate a traditional indoor shelter.
       “Obviously we cannot stop there,” said Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant, a Socialist whose election two years ago helped spur Seattle’s shift toward government-permitted tent cities.
       “We have to be moving to a broader, more comprehensive solution, toward a time when people do not suffer from homelessness,” she said. “This is a way to make people’s day-to-day lives a little easier.”

A possible thawing

In Portland, advocates for the poor have pushed legalized camping for more than two decades. Those calls have grown louder in the past few years as homelessness jumped, a result of the recession and Portland’s hot rental market, which has driven up prices, driven down vacancy rates and driven out many poorer residents.
        Civic leaders’ opposition to some form of legalized camping is beginning to loosen. “I think in a limited way that’s an option that has some merit,” Mayor Charlie Hales said this past spring. A committee of government officials, elected leaders and service providers studying solutions to homelessness has included tent cities in early conversations about what form more shelter space should take.
        According to the Home for Everyone committee, the ultimate answer to Portland’s homeless crisis is better access to mental health care, more low-skill jobs and higher wages for existing jobs, more options for people fighting addiction and, above all else, more permanent affordable housing. But Portland also needs more emergency places for homeless people to sleep right now.
       “We have an ordinance that prohibits camping. We also have upwards of 1,800 people who are going to have to sleep somewhere,” said Marc Jolin, director of the city-county A Home for Everyone initiative. “We do not have enough lawful places to sleep right now, no question. The question is how we use our resources.”
       The arguments against tent cities are easy to list: They’re unattractive. They take up public space. They’re not a long-term answer for people trying to reach self-sufficiency. They can, done with little thought or placed in out-of-the-way places, look and feel less like small towns and more like internment camps for the extreme poor. In Honolulu, where the City Council has passed multiple laws aimed at criminalizing loitering and camping, Mayor Kirk Caldwell is building a small, legal homeless camp made of shipping containers at Sand Island Recreation Area, a World War II internment camp for Japanese Americans.
       “The risk is that you’re just pushing homelessness out of the public eye but not actually doing anything to help homeless people,” said Eric Tars, senior attorney with the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. “If you put a camp in the middle of nowhere, away from any services, the only thing they accomplish is making the people you’re trying to help feel even more ostracized and isolated.”
       Arguments for tent cities are subtler: They allow residents who want to look for work or go to the doctor a place to store their belongings, and freedom from the stress of trying to find a new safe place to sleep every night. They can give social service providers, who often must search for clients, a central location to work. They offer, if well run, a safer option for women and seniors living outdoors.
       “I’m of the opinion that a sheltered place to go might reduce the victimization of some of our more vulnerable unsheltered population,” Voeller said.
       And they give police and policymakers more leeway to enforce anti-camping and loitering laws elsewhere in a city. It’s hard for officers to crack down on camping with lasting results when there is nowhere for them to go besides “not here.”

Portland’s camps

       Portland has two legal camps. Dignity Village, in far North Portland, grew out of a protest and into a permanent government-approved city-within-a-city run by and for homeless people.
       The Right 2 Dream Too rest area downtown has drawn complaints from some nearby business owners, who say it scares away out-of-town visitors. A developer recently sued the city, saying the nearby homeless camp made it impossible to find investors to convert a former low-rent motel into a youth hostel.
        City leaders, after trying to fine the community out of existence, have come to accept its usefulness, if not its location. They’re negotiating with its organizers to move near the southeast end of the new Tilikum Crossing bridge. Right 2 Dream has room for 100 people and routinely turns away 100 or more on winter nights, but the potential new site isn’t big enough to solve that problem.
        “Of course we need more legal camps, unless we’re suddenly going to come up with houses for everyone,” said Ibrahim Mubarak, a homeless man who helped found Dignity Village and Right 2 Dream Too. “Look at it this way: You have a two-year waiting list to get housing in this city. If you’re trying to stop doing drugs, get a handle on a mental health problem, stay away from somebody who abused you, two years is a very, very long time. “A lot of bad things can happen in two years.”

Sunday, June 21, 2015

MRG Foundation Funded!
   We recently applied for a grant from the good people at the MRG Foundation. And to that we would like to say "Thank You!" Your hard work is what makes our hard work possible. If you would like to give them kudos or have hard work your doing, MRG could help you!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Right 2 Survive Hosts 5th Annual Pitch a Tent Celebration

Right 2 Survive is excited to announce our 5th annual Pitch a Tent action June 5-6, 2015. This year's theme will be Right to Rest, Right to Dream. We will meet at the Right 2 Dream Rest Area on the corner of NW 4th and W Burnside at 9 am on Friday, June 5 and march up to SW 4th and Washington where we will set up tents along the parade route at 10 am. We will have food, friendship, and solidarity during the day and entertainment featuring Mic and Jenna Crenshaw among others from 7 to 11 pm. Be sure to camp out with us overnight on the 5th to get prime seats to watch the Rose Festival Parade on June 6th!
Right 2 Survive does this action every year for a few different reasons. The time leading up to the Rose Festival is also the time when houseless people are most likely to be targeted and swept as more and more people come to Portland to enjoy the festivities. This action serves to give as many houseless people as possible a safe place to stay the night before the parade. It is also used to educate and inform the public of the unfair laws and ordinances that make camping for survival illegal while there is a policy in effect that makes it perfectly legal to camp out up to 24 hours before a parade for recreational purposes. I repeat, it is legal to camp for recreation to get a prime spot for a parade here in Portland, yet it is illegal to erect a tent, or even cover yourself with a tarp or blanket to protect yourself from the elements if you are doing this for survival any of the other 364 days of the year!
Come join us in solidarity, stay for the entertainment and speakers! We are please to announce that Paul Boden from Western Regional Advocacy Project will be joining us again this year to give an update on the Homeless Bill of Rights. We look forward to seeing all of you there!

You can view the event page at

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Truth About the Sweeps 

by Zach 
      Recently there have been many sweeps in and around the Hawthorne Bridge area. 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. 

      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. These hired security forces are not "law enforcement" and do not have the authority as outlined in ORS 203.079. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

R2S Goes to Tucson
By: Lisa Fay
       Earlier this month (March 2015), with the help of believers from GoFundMe and a grant from the MRG Foundation, Right 2 Survive (R2S) was welcomed back to Tucson, Arizona to work with leaders of Right 2 Dream Too, Tucson and Safe Park. While there, we engaged in meetings to discuss the next steps on their plans for making the future brighter for the houseless folks down there.
       We and local activists spoke at a meeting, held by the city of Tucson, to come up with solutions that would work for all of Tucson's downtown dwellers. Also present were local business owners, shelter heads, and the Diocesan Bishop. In that meeting, discussions around housing, as well as traffic of houseless in front of businesses, were of great concern. R2S shared a power point of five of the tent cities and rest areas in Oregon and of other working models from around the country—all of which are low cost temporary solutions to houselessness that can be implemented and maintained using self-governance, while alleviating costs to the city and surrounding businesses.

      We also attended a federal court hearing that ruled that sleeping in “pods” in a public space as a means of “Free Speech Protest” is a City matter and is to be determined by the City, not a federal judge. The City of Tucson responded swiftly. Within 3 hours of the ruling, the City had police officers posting eviction notices on all the sleep pods that lined the sidewalks in the Safe Park area. Folks were given 3 days to move their sleep pods and tents, or these would be confiscated. The police brought out the mental health task force to evaluate folks; and if they wanted, they could go into a mental health facility immediately, but (the mental health task force) couldn't provide any social service assistance.
      Sadly, for the estimated 3,000 unhoused residents, Tucson is considering adopting Denver's harsh sidewalk ordinances that strictly controls the houseless movements in their public areas, and infringe on their Civil, Constitutional and Human Rights. R2S spoke about the Houseless Bill of Rights Campaign with interested parties, and helped folks understand the need for protection from criminalization based on housing status. In Arizona, certain felonies prevent folks from receiving any type of public assistance (i.e. food stamps, health care, welfare and housing assistance). 
     R2S also used the time to do interviews for their radio show (that airs on KBOO 90.7fm), and video recorded some of the things they witnessed. The radio interviews will air on April 8th @ 6pm. The videos will take some time to edit and format. We will let everyone know when they are finished, and they will be found here: follow-up from the removal of the pods from downtown: Temporarily, they have a place, and folks can still stay protesting for their rights on the downtown streets of Tucson. Meetings, like the ones we participated in with community leaders, are still going on to find answers. Open dialogue is critical!
      Next stop: R2S’s Ibrahim Mubarak, Ptery Light, and Faduma (from Groundworks Portland) are off to Denver for a national conference on houselessness— to be attended by Activist and Critical thinkers from East to West coasts— with the intent to unify organizations across the country who are all doing similar work, and to create a national network that addresses the injustices that the houseless struggle with as a community.

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