Advocate, activist, anarchist. Period.
It's fine. It won't change anything except that us homeless people (because we're all drunks, obviously) will just go into your ritzy high-class grocery stores stinking up the place and pissing on the windows and then stumble onto the Max (while not paying fare of course) and arriving, fully-cocked, back in Old Town/Chinatown where we will sell half our beers for a higher price, maybe get in a fight over it, and then throw our empties on the street.
(This is all sarcasm, by the way.)
Yeah, no, but seriously.
Something that most people will not and can not understand is there's no getting up once you're down unless you catch an incredible break. Of course a lot of us end up anti-capitalist or anarchist, we're some of the very few who become really familiar with the system out of necessity. It's set up to keep you running in circles. You don't have this so you have to go over here on Tuesday between 1 and 3 and wait in a line but really you have to be in line at 4 in the morning and MAYBE you'll be near the front enough to get what you need because they're only giving three away and the whole time you're missing other things like food and then you have to walk the 50 blocks back with 90 pounds on your back, so on and so forth. I mean, try applying for a job when you walk in smelling like ass and carrying a raggedy four-foot tall pack on your back. It's the minute logistics that keep you down. And guess what? If you're NOT an addict, not dying, not a family with children, not insane, not disabled, not a veteran, there's no help. You can get on a shelter waiting list but it's going to be MONTHS until you even qualify. For the record, the majority of the junkies, tweakers and crackheads I met on the street weren't addicts until they were homeless. When you have to deal with what we deal with every day, any source of comfort becomes appealing over a long enough stretch.
When we started Phoenix Rising we wanted to defy all definitions of "homeless." Despite all of our skills in carpentry, gardening, conflict resolution, public relations, etc., no one would hire us because we were already homeless, so we did everything the city claims it wants from a homeless person in order to at least be dry and safe until we can appear well-off enough to be hired somewhere.
Nick Fish says, ""But if people have no choice, it's my preference that they find smaller, dispersed places to camp." Well, I'd like Nick Fish to enforce that personally, I'd like him to do ride-alongs with police and tell them that personally, because there is NO place, and I mean NO PLACE, where someone can sleep without eventually being rousted by ODOT, or Clean and Safe, or security, or transit police, or police on seqways, on horses, in cars, on bikes. Fuck Nick Fish and fuck Mayor Adams. I mean, we're talking about sleep here. The most basic human need there is besides water.
People will talk day and night about things that have no understanding of. If it's so easy to deal with and to get out of, I invite anyone to go ahead and give it a try then.
And to Bruce, who says, "Persuade a landowner or a public entity how you can improve/protect their land while living there, and you might be surprised how many are willing to consider that possibility." Do you seriously think that hasn't been tried? Do you really think every option hasn't been exercised? You are dealing with people at their wit's end and it is that way for a reason. This is what I mean when I say there's almost no way out except for a lucky break. Everything you or most anyone else could POSSIBLY think of, we've already tried.
All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
Contact Info |
Production Guidelines |