Tag Archives: R2D2

Right 2 Dream Too to sign new lease, threatens suit against city

Staff reports

Oct. 10 will be the one-year anniversary of Right 2 Dream Too, and members of the homeless rest stop are celebrating by signing a second one-year lease with the property owners.

They’re also firming up their expectations of City Hall to suspend its fine process and declare R2DToo’s site at Fourth Avenue and Burnside a legal transitional housing campground area as allowed under state law.

In a letter to the city dated Aug. 31, R2DToo’s attorney, Mark Kramer, says that if the city refuses to suspend monthly fine assessments against the nonprofit, he will seek a judge’s decision to void the regulatory process in this case. The letter was addressed to City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, head of the Bureau of Development Services that overseas the regulatory process, and Commissioner Nick Fish, who heads up the city’s homeless and housing programs. Continue reading

Right 2 Dream Too more practical than political

By Leo Rhodes, Contributing Columnist

In 2009 when I first came to Portland, I came to rest from all the advocacy I had done in Seattle.  A friend came to me and showed me minutes from the Coordinating Committee to End Homelessness (CCEH). The minutes stated that the committee was not keeping up with putting people in housing. Sally Erikson took this issue to Commissioner Nick Fish. Commissioner Fish said to get eight or nine people together and brainstorm on what to do. I was one of those people.

The alternative committee came up with about 15 ways to help the homeless: from people sleeping in cars in empty parking lots, to rental assistance, to tent cities. CCEH prioritized them from 1 to 15. The results were supposed to come out to the city commissioners and mayor of Portland in January 2010. They were put on hold because of an anti-camping lawsuit. They have been on the back burner over since. Continue reading

Occupy Portland sends open letter to city officials in support of homeless

Occupy Portland has sent the following letter to city officials…

This open letter from the General Assembly of Occupy Portland affirms our solidarity with the homeless people in our city.  We ask that City ordinances currently used to criminalize homeless people be suspended until new solutions are found.  This request is in accordance with the official Bill of Rights for Children and Youth as adopted by Portland and Multnomah County:  “Shelter:  We have the inherent right to shelter.  The City of Portland and Multnomah County should continue their efforts to provide adequate shelter to those who need it.”

The number of unhoused people living on the streets of Portland has steadily increased over the past ten years in spite of good intentions to reduce homelessness to zero.  Instead, Portland city officials are now cracking down on the efforts of a nonprofit homeless organization, “Right to Dream Too” (R2DToo) to open their self-help site, a rest area for those forced to live outdoors (located next to the Chinatown gate on Burnside Street).  Their goals are modest and very basic: “The right to rest, the right to sleep, and the right to dream, too.”

The Occupy Wall Street movement is calling attention to the increasing inequality and economic injustice across the country.  One frequent grievance is the rise of evictions due to home foreclosures, a trend which has been exposed as caused by banks’ irresponsible manipulation of loans.  Many more Americans are now on the precarious edge of living one or two paychecks away from joining the homeless.  This is a state of economic emergency which calls out for extraordinary action by governments.

We encourage you to open dialogue with alternative solutions — such as the R2DToo rest area, which is legally leased on private property, and is run by experienced volunteers with support from the community. Such efforts in self-determination and bootstrap self-help cost the City nothing, as they are funded by charity and managed by the hard work of volunteer organizers.  Such projects are in the American vein of self-reliance and also strengthen community bonds.  We invite you to help such grassroots solutions.

Finally, The Bill of Rights for Children and Youth can be found prominently displayed on the reception desk of Mayor Adams’ office, and is also online at the County website.  It affirms what Occupy Portland also affirms: the inalienable right to survive, which requires shelter.  Families and individuals who cannot live indoors, for whatever reason, should not be swept out of sight and mind. They deserve the human dignity to be seen and to exist in our city.

Thank you for considering this appeal, and we welcome your response.

Occupy Portland, General Assembly

Street Roots is waiting to hear back from the Mayor’s office, and it’s also been rumored that a march will take place sometime this evening in solidarity with the homeless rest area on NW 4th and Burnside.

Breaking News: Homeless stake out their own “occupation”

Ibrahim Mubarak in front of the new homeless "occupation" at Fourth and Burnside.

With all the focus on the Occupy Portland event downtown, a second encampment has emerged, this one by people experiencing homelessness taking over a corner at NW Fourth Avenue and Burnside. The squat, on a vacant plot of land, is being organized through Right 2 Survive, a grassroots movement of people in homelessness and is being called “Right to Dream Too,” or R2D2. The encampment’s spokesperson is Ibrahim Mubarak (pictured above), a longtime advocate on homeless issues and one of the spearheads behind Dignity Village.  There’s more to come, but here is an excerpt of the initial statement from the group: Continue reading