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economic justice | homelessness

Take in a homeless womyn!

Homeless womyn are targets walking around out there, and they feel as such. I have personally met several womyn who have terrible stories of what happens to womyn living on the streets.
Rape. Torture. Beatings. Abuse of many kinds. When they are not being victimized they are worrying that they will be. They are forced to try live invisibly so no one will take notice and take advantage. They are vulnerable. They are afraid to sleep. They are NOT SAFE, and they DO NOT DESERVE THIS! So all you well-to-do Portlanders with cushy homes take someone in this winter. I have done this in the past, and it went very well. Work together with the womyns shelters and help a homeless womyn. Or just sit idly by while they suffer.

Do you really understand what you are asking? 11.Jan.2010 19:16

Done Been There

I 've done a lot of volunteer work with people experiencing homelessness. Just like everyone else there are issues on the surface and other issues buried. Trust is a two way street best developed with experience. The experience of losing stability of home, work and social network wears on a persons ability to tolerate risk, emotion and develop trust. Relationships including friendships are best balanced on a equal footing. When one person has the majority of control resentments develop.

Sometimes a person is so broken down emotionally or mentally that they need the control of a social service agency. Most homeless people do not. Organizations like Dignity Village give a person opportunity to contribute in the decision making process while contributing to the community as a whole. Dignity Village is full and the city of Portland is not allowing another tent city at this time.

Giving a homeless person a place out of the weather should be defined. The economy won't change soon but the weather will in a few months set a time limit.
How will chores be shared?
Can the person contribute to the household or will the person save their money?
Are there noise limitations if so what are the hours?
How do you feel about friends coming over or will the person meet people outside the home?
How will threats of violence be dealt with?
What are your limits for emotionally being dumped on?
What about if a medical or mental emergency happens who do you call (the police are not always the right answer)?
Not all homeless use drugs or alcohol but some do and some use too much. What are your limits for drugs and alcohol?
Food is very expensive. How will you share food, food stamps?
Smoking allowed where?
These are questions to be discussed.

some ways it might be possible 14.Jan.2010 00:19

p e m

if you have a basement with its own outside door, a few homeless women could camp there as it would be better than outside. and no entry to the house. i say women because generally they might be more vulnerable on the streets and also less physically dangerous than the average male.
of course they might need some heat and a bathroom, maybe a hotplate. but you would have to get to know them first, and more so during their stay. this might only work if you already have several people in your home, for safety.
other than that, if you have an empty house that is for sale or a rental unit not being rented, and you would like to help....there it is. because some very delicate and weak vulnerable people are in great need right now, please try it or something like it. even a garage, a porch, or a shed.

get your friends to work with you on this as a group project or neighborhood project: to retrofit some empty rooms and spaces, with locking doors, and a group of responsible adults to oversee the project. Interview the women. talk with them often, and make it a regular volunteer effort. it could develop into something really good. also, let the women (or men, as the case may be) have contact info for the volunteer group so there is accountability and nothing gets too out of hand.
hey i like this- brainstorming. thanks for putting this suggestion out for us to comment on!
ps i myself have taken in a homeless relative, who i would not otherwise be letting them stay here.....if only everyone would take in their own homeless relatives or friends of friends whenever possible, there would not be so many homeless...
and sometimes they do have a small income, it just is not enough to pay their full rent on a separate apartment etc. Sometimes they are eligible for benefits but they have not gotten them yet, don't know how, or it is taking too long..... i know it takes a year or more to get SSI if you are disabled in some way. meantime you fall throught the cracks, which in Oregon are just too huge.