Video: Discussing Housless in Portland Oregon
Live interview with Ibrahim Mubarak and Lisa Fay, organizers with the Right 2 Dream Too (R2DTOO)successfully self functioning Houseless camp located in downtown Portland Oregon. The camp has been operating self sustainably since October of 2011, in spite of severe resistance and persecution by the Mayor and City Commissioners.|
Discussing Houselessness in Portland Oregon
On the Pubic Access television program, "A Growing Concern," Ibrahim and Lisa discuss the importance of the Camp, not only to the houseless, but also to the neighborhood in which it is located.|
"The first thing houseless people look for is sleep; the second thing they look for is a place to eat. So we figure we can have a place where they can come get 8 - 12 hours of rest and get fed. Then we can help to get them productive.......refer them to social services, what to do if you need Identification, a drivers license, a bus ticket to get out of town, subsidized housing, health care. What happens if you are sleeping on the street and you get a citation, where to go or who to contact."
"Even though there are laws, some of the police and security guards don't practice that law when it comes to people that live without houses. We set that up and it's up to them whether or not they wish to become productive."
Thanks to the vigilance of the encampment, crime in the area is down markedly, including drug dealing which has always been a serious problem in that area of downtown Portland.
Lisa Fay says that, "not only do we look out for 4th and Burnside, but we look out for the entire block. We make routine checks around the whole block.....we do a lot of extra policing during week ends and night time hours, and make sure that you're not going to be selling drugs on this corner."
But, R2DToo organizing for houseless people doesn't stop with the streets of Portland. Lisa Fay, "We're in a coalition with Street Roots, Dignity Village, Sisters of the Road, and a group out of San Francisco, Western Regional Advocacy Project. We're working to craft a bill so that people have basic human rights met, like the use of public rest rooms, shower facilities, the right to have their information kept confidential if they go to a shelter, the right not to be discriminated against in a work place because they don't have regular housing status, not to be discriminated against when applying for public housing or housing assistance."
Ibrahim believes that the City Council is moving against the camp because the local business community considers it an eyesore. "They're trying to get us out of there, it's right on prime property; this is the city that works, and they're seeing people that are out of work, they're being reminded that this city is like every other city. We have our problems, it's not our fault, but it's our fault if we do nothing to address these problems, if we overlook people, sweep it under the carpet."
In this 38 minute interview, both Ibrahim and Lisa discuss at length the situation of houseless with Right 2 Dream Too in particular and houslessness in general. An informative window into both the situation of houslessness and the resilience and creativity of people on the street taking their lives into their own hands to determine their own fate, despite having to swim against the current of discriminatory regulations.
Ibrahim finishes the program addressing the self sustainability of the camp, which takes money. They need sleeping bags, and spend $80.00 a week keeping these necessary items clean. "We pay for electricity, we pay for our water, liability insurance. We have internet service so people can check their emails and check in with family members, job and house searches, make resumes. We have a radio show on KBOO, 90.7 FM that airs the second Wednesday of every month, and we go out into the houseless communities and address houseless issues."
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