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homelessness

Right 2 Dream Too opens space for locals on World Homeless Day

R2DToo is a new Oregon non-profit organization supported by members of Right 2 Survive. Today a space was opened up on N.W. 4th and Burnside in downtown to provide a safe place for those that need it. Portland, OR, USA, 10/10/2011.
According to a press release from the Right to Dream Too website,

"The purposes of the space are as follows:

To awaken social and political groups to the importance of safe and undisturbed sleep.
To create a safe, secure place for members to be.
To create places where members can sleep safely and undisturbed.
To engage in other educational activities as the Board of Directorsshall determine.

R2DToo is a newly founded Oregon nonprofit organization supported by members of Right 2 Survive, a group of houseless and formerly houseless individuals dedicated to defending the human, civil and constitutional rights of people experiencing homelessness. R2DToo's facility will provide refuge for Portland's unhoused community who cannot access the insufficient stock of affordable housing and shelter space to rest or sleep undisturbed. Currently, because of city ordinances that prohibit camping on public property and restrict people's rights simply to sit or lie on sidewalks, Portland's unhoused population is frequently under tremendous stress and unable to get the proper amount of rest. This is one of the principle contributing factors to the tremendous health disparities and high morbidity rates of people experiencing homelessness in our
community.

R2DToo's new space will also provide a safe, welcoming place for people who daily and nightly face the threat of violence on our city streets. All members agree to abide by a code of conduct that respects the rights of fellow members and our neighbors to share our public spaces civilly and equitably. Our space will be guided by and adhere to principles of nonviolence. Plans include the possibility of providing limited storage space for members to address the need for unhoused individuals to have a secure place for storing belongings.

R2DToo hopes to offer educational programs and other forms of mutual support and aid as resources become available. It is R2DToo's intention to take input and direction from its members in designing programs, trainings, events and activities. R2DToo believes that people experiencing homelessness are the experts at surviving on the streets and are capable of providing the essential peer support that is currently lacking in efforts to address the homeless crisis in our city and our country.

Ibrahim Mubarak, co-founder of Right 2 Survive, Dignity Village and Board Member of R2DToo, says "This is a direct result of the government's failure to admit that we have a housing problem in this country - not only has the government failed to admit it, it has failed to act on it." The housing crisis that has come to national attention since 2008 has deeper roots in the refusal of the Federal government to recognize housing as a human right. As long as this remains the case, homelessness will not end and we must explore alternative, cost-effective pathways for those who lack housing or who current programs, for a variety of reasons, do not serve. R2DToo hopes its space and the programs it develops will serve as a model for addressing the unmet needs of thousands of Portlanders and will inspire others in possession of empty lots or buildings to consider creating similar spaces."

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