[Hpn] CAMP DIGNITY in Portland, Oregon USA seeks your support (fwd)

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Tue, 20 Feb 2001 13:31:12 -0800 (PST)

FWD 18 Feb 2001 / REPLY TO AUTHOR: "John Coomler" <jcoomler@teleport.com> CAMP DIGNITY IN PORTLAND, OREGON [ USA ] Camp Dignity is the preliminary stage to Dignity Village in Portland, Oregon. Currently, it is a nylon community of about fifty homeless adults on the edge of the downtown core area. The struggle is to gain governmental support for this temporary space while a permanent location can be negotiated. The police are wanting to remove the inhabitants soon (for the sixth time) so public support is critical now. Rebuttals to Unaware Statements and Questions About Homeless People S & Q: Why don't those homeless people get a job? Rebuttal: Actually, a lot of people living on the streets already work quite a lot, but housing is very expensive. And some people have issues that prevent them from being able to work in any regular employment capacity. Mental and physical disabilities, substance abuse, and lack of social skills prevent many people from being able to work regularly. S & Q: Why don't those homeless people go to the shelters? Rebuttal: There are fewer than 600 shelter beds in Portland to accommodate the more than 3,000 adults and youth needing shelter each night and the number of homeless is growing. The adult shelters are not clean, safe for personal belongings, accommodating for those people who are ill or who work late and need to sleep late, and the shelters are not conducive for healthy attitudes about oneself. Approximately 1/3 of the adult homeless are not involved in the substance culture and they do not want to be forced to live with those people who are abusers. S & Q: Homeless people are dirty and they leave a mess everywhere they go. Rebuttal: Some people do live in filthy conditions and have little regard for themselves and their surroundings. But many homeless desire clean and sanitary conditions around themselves. The Dignity Village will be monitored by the inhabitants themselves to keep their space clean and sanitary. They have left every place they have stayed as part of Camp Dignity cleaner than when they arrived. There are portable toilets and a garbage dumpster is being secured so that the garbage can be removed daily. Considering the challenges of their living situation these homeless people are incredibly conscientious and responsible. S & Q: Why does Dignity Village need to be so close to downtown, they can find more land farther out? Rebuttal: These homeless people are trying very hard to rebuild their lives and in order to do that they need to be close to the services that can help them do that. Many people need to have regular medical appointments, go to work, access mass transportation, and connect with each other for social purposes. New people are always going to be arriving to Portland and an easy-to-find place will only help them in their efforts to improve their lives S & Q: Homeless people do not deserve all of these handouts and welfare assistance. Rebuttal: Actually, the homeless people use much less free assistance than do many of our businesses and more wealthy individuals who receive large publicly funded tax breaks, tax shelters, grants, and favorable rulings by governmental bodies. The homeless who work do pay taxes and often are not able to qualify for some of the publicly funded support that the wealthier people receive. The homeless just receive different forms of support. What Is Needed and What Can You Do? There is an urgent need for cash donations! Camp Dignity needs large 6-person nylon tents, facilities for washing their clothes and themselves, money to pay for the servicing of the portable toilets, for the cell phone time, for parts to repair tents and equipment, for improving the cooking facilities, and for many other needs. Either CONTACT Street Roots at 503-228-5657, or visit the website at http://www.outofthedoorways.org, or visit the camp under the Fremont Bridge at 17th and Savier NW. E-mail is <dignity@outofthedoorways.org>. All donations are tax deductible. END FORWARD CONTACT PORTLAND OFFICIALS Portland OR USA -- Mayor Vera Katz is determined to keep homeless people from camping here, despite a court ruling against the city's anti-camping ordinance. Please write "polite letters of concern" to Portland, Oregon officials. In your own words, ask them to stop police from evicting the homeless camp here, called Dignity Village. DIGNITY VILLAGE Office: 1231 SW Morrison, Portland OR USA Phones: (503) 347 9831 (503) 228-5657 TO GET INVOLVED, Call Hannah at (503) 659-9384 EMAIL YOUR LETTERS TO: "Mayor Vera Katz" <mayorkatz@ci.portland.or.us>, "Commissioner Jim Francesconi" <jfrancesconi@ci.portland.or.us>, "Commissioner Charlie Hales" <chales@ci.portland.or.us>, "Commissioner Dan Saltzman" <dsaltzman@ci.portland.or.us>, "Commissioner Erik Sten" <erik@ci.portland.or.us>, "City Auditor Gary Blackmer" <gblackmer@ci.portland.or.us> Or search the LINK below to find out how to PHONE or send them "snailmail": http://www.ci.portland.or.us/inside/elect.htm [ accurate as of 22 Jan 2001 ] City of Portland Elected Officials [ phone, address & email CONTACT INFO ] BELOW find some related links: SAMPLE LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR DIGNITY VILLAGE: http://www.oregonlive.com/printer2.ssf?/oped/oregonian/01/01/ed_71hubbi27.frame FWD Oregonian - Saturday, January 27, 2001 [ Guest Editorial ] Camp Dignity is no indignity, it's an answer The homeless tent camp fills a need, beds for people who need them, at no cost to the city; so what's the problem and concern here? by John Hubbird [ of JOIN and Street Roots homeless newspaper ] SEE ALSO: http://www.oregonlive.com/oped/index.ssf?/oped/oregonian/01/01/ed_41mki217.frame Indignities - Oregonian EDITORIAL of 17 January 2001 http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/6000/20010114/lo/289893_1.html FWD Channel 6000 - Sunday January 14 09:00 PM EST HOMELESS CAMP GETS WALKING PAPERS PORTLAND POLICE ASK CAMP TO MOVE http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis/web/vortex/display?slug= homeless25m&date=20001225 FWD Seattle Times - Monday, December 25, 2000 NO ARRESTS SINCE PORTLAND HOMELESS-CAMPS RULING By The Associated Press [ Since a judge ruled Portland, Oregon's "Anti-Camping law" UNCONSTITUTIONAL, police are now using "other ordinances" to close down homeless camps. ] http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/6000/20001017/lo/227316_1.html FWD KOIN 6 News [Portland OR USA] - Tuesday October 17, 2000 HOMELESS CAMPING WILL BE DISCOURAGED OFFICIALS TO WORK WITH POLICE DESPITE COURT RULING Mayor Vera Katz is determined to keep homeless people from camping in Portland, despite a court ruling against the city's anti-camping ordinance. http://www.oregonlive.com/oped/index.ssf?/oped/00/10/ed_61justu06.frame FWD Oregon Live / Friday, October 6, 2000 ANTI-CAMPING LAW NEVER CURED HOMELESS PROBLEM CITY SHOULD FORGET AN APPEAL OF A JUDGE'S RULING [Hpn] Portland's Anti-Camping Ordinance ruled unconstitutional... Remona Cowles remona@uswest.net Thu, 19 Oct 2000 22:49:09 -0700 Camping ban overturned Landmark decision by Multnomah County Judge Stephen Gallagher overturns Portland's nineteen-year-old anti-camping ordinance http://www.oregonlive.com/printer2.ssf?/news/oregonian/00/09/lc_51camp28.frame FWD The Oregonian - Thursday, September 28, 2000 HOMELESS CAMPING BAN VOIDED "Street Roots" <newsroom@streetroot.org>, <beditor@streetroot.org> http://www.streetroot.org http://www.systemsolver.com/oregoncamps/ Planned Camps in Portland, Oregon http://www.poorpeoplesguide.org/camp/index.html Dignity Village <DignityVillage@PoorPeoplesGuide.org> http://www.poorpeoplesguide.org Visit HPN for CONSTANTLY UPDATING NEWS on Homeless People: *************************************************************** Over 10,000 articles by or via homeless & ex-homeless people Been Homeless? Then JOIN! EMAIL Tom Boland <wgcp@earthlink.net> Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy ***************************************************************