Please read more about our project and how you can get involved. We truly appreciate your interest and support!
Monday, September 26, 2005
Dignity's begun hosting weekly craft classes in collaboration with one of the local high schools.
At Dignity Village with the approach of cold weather we continue to build housing as per our mission and our Dignity Village Proposal, 2004-.
Monday, August 8, 2005
We also post an image and a few words from the benefit book Criminal Reality. Net proceeds from the sale of the book go into the community treasury and help fund Dignity's operational costs. So if you like Dignity's self-housing effort and support our cause, be sure to BUY OUR BOOK! And be sure to tell your friends to buy it, too.
At Dignity, as two new houses near completion, we find that building together increases the peace while the work we do reduces poverty.
Monday, July 11, 2005
Visionary Mark Lakeman talks about the ongoing struggle for social change, guerrilla building projects, City Repair, the permitting process, the Village Building Convergence and the building projects he undersees that others may overstand in this informative article from The Portland Alliance.
The Hanford to Bangor Interfaith Peace Walk stops by the Village on July 20th at noon where the participants will briefly rest before continuing on. For more information about the walk and how to join, check the flyer.
Currently the Village has more plant starts than soil to plant them in. If you'd like starts for your summer garden, particularly tomato starts, contact us at (503) 281/1604.
Monday, June 27, 2005
King County's Tent City 4, which operates under the Federal "Church Land Use and Institutionalized Persons" ruling, comes under threat with the proposed Bellevue plan. Meanwhile Tent City Solutions, an organization opposed to temporary solutions to the disastrous shortfall in affordable housing, lobbies for an audit to end SHARE/WHEEL's federal money stream. Apparently Steve Pyeatt fails to see any correlation between natural disasters like earthquakes that make people homeless and policy decisions and economic factors that accomplish the same end.
Locally, the Dignity Matters campaign sees ink in the Portland Trib.
The Village is looking for a licensed plumber as we near completion of our new solar-powered, gas-fired showers. All interested applicants for the job may contact us at (503) 281/1604 or through this website.
Finally, Dignity thanks the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship students for their great company and good works on their recent service project at the Village. Big thanks to Steve, Lindsey, Rebecca, Brian, Craig and the entire Intervarsity crew!
Monday, June 13, 2005
In other news, some of Tent City 4's neighbors buy into the fear for security concerns of the "criminal, disease-ridden homeless" and support greater tent city regulation which in turn generates spirited debate.
Monday, June 6, 2005
To view John Bonnar's photos of Toronto's picnic on that day, simply click here.
"Dignity Village: Some bad days but more good ones" is from the June issue of The Portland Alliance. And look here -- Villagers Alan and Laura were honored at the Photovoice Look Here! Premiere on May 22.
Dignity Village of course IS the solution to homelessness in this country and neither requests nor accepts government funding. One way you may help fund Dignity and end homelessness is to BUY OUR BOOK.
Monday, May 30, 2005
Monday, May 23, 2005
Dignity also thanks the Out Loud Poets, Agent Contajus, Orphan Child, DJ Short Change and all the players of instruments and singers of songs who took to Dignity's stage last Sunday; Helen Hill for her help locating a PA system and equipment; Ras Danny for solid technical advice; and all Villagers who worked so hard to make the day a success.
Dignity also thanks Free Geek for our new computers, Log House Plants for the many flats of flowers and vegetable starts, and WW Press for the incredible production of the first Village book.
Saturday's photo exhibit at PSU sharpens up the focus on Portland's homeless community.
Monday, May 16, 2005
We hope to see many readers of this site at tonight's "Community with Dignity" presentation at the Hollywood Theatre.
Monday, May 9, 2005
Toronto's flier we post for easy downloadability. And here's Denver's press release.
In other news, the City set up its wind turbine across the fence in the Bureau of Maintenance' leaf composting facility today, a considerably larger affair than the turbine at Dignity Village. We're wondering at the Village if the City will be inviting any local dignitaries to the turbine's grand opening and if so, if any Villagers will be invited.
Monday, May 2, 2005
On Monday, May 16, our partners at Kwamba Productions present "Community with Dignity" at the Hollywood Theatre. Panelists include Village Vice Chair Chrysler Chelle, Washington State Professor Susan Finley, The City Repair Project's Co-Director Mark Lakeman, Village Treasurer and Outreach Coordinator Tim McCarthy, and Professor Tracy Prince of PSU's Department of Urban Planning.
Monday, April 18, 2005
A number of projects are in the works, including a couple of literary collaborations between Village writers Laura Brown and Jack Tafari and the artist Warrior Woman. These books will soon be available through this site and in a number of local outlets to help raise the funding we need. Work on our media toolkit with Kwamba Media Productions also proceeds apace. Work on relocating our showers was a bit of a wash this weekend due to heavy rains.
And as visitors to this site seem to like pics, here's a photo of Villagers with Jamaica's mighty revolutionary poet Mutabaruka that we are pleased to add to our Dignity in the Wider Community page.
Monday, April 11, 2005
Dignity Village voted unanimously last Thursday to be part of an International Tent City and Alternative Housing Day set for May 15th and two new committees begin organizing for the day. If you'd like to be part of this event and celebrate with us, contact the Village through this site.
We're building new showers at the Village on Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17, our builders are shining up their hammers, we have the supplies and building materials required, and frame up starts Saturday morning at 10 AM. Building coordinator Chrysler Chelle invites you to join us this weekend for some practical experience where we may all teach and learn.
Saturday evening, of course, Jamaica's mighty Mutabaruka performs at the Blue Monk. Be aware that tickets for Muta's performance are available at the door ONLY, go on sale at about 5 PM, and those wishing to hear the POWER of the spoken WORD are advised to "BE DEH EARLY!"
On Sunday Dignity's partner organization Street Roots is having a benefit at the Ash Street Saloon.
We add more pics to our newer construction page.
Monday, March 28, 2005
In Victoria, British Columbia, David Arthur Johnston's occupation of St Ann's Academy in his fight for the right to sleep continues. To learn more about this heroic struggle, click on this link to a brand new website.
The renowned revolutionary poet Mutabaruka who passed through this town at the start of the Out of the Doorways campaign in 2000 is coming again to Portland. The poet's spoken word performance on April 16th at the Blue Monk should be well attended. Mutabaruka will also be signing copies of his new collection of poems "Mutabaruka: The Next Poems / the First Poems" at Laughing Horse Books.
At Dignity, the building continues as you may see in these pics of the newer construction. Currently we're relocating our showers and add a wish list of building materials to our construction page.
And last but certainly not least, we're pleased to announce the birth to former Villager Kat Spry of a beautiful new daughter. Nevaeh Angelique Spry was born on March 5th and weighed in at a healthy 7 lbs 8 oz at birth. Mother and baby are both well and currently stabily housed.
Monday, March 21, 2005
Featured in this issue of Environmental Building News is "Greening Affordable Housing" and a tip of the tam to editor Jessica Boehland for Dignity's inclusion and for sending along the link.
Finally, here's a pic of students helping reduce construction scraps to usable firewood for the common area's wood stove. Some of the students came from as far away as Lubbock, Texas.
Monday March 14 2005
You won't be able to hear the album that is the talk of Dignity Village until the documentary we're making with Kwamba Media Productions is released, but you may hear a couple of tracks previewed on an upcoming special edition of the Higher Reasoning Reggae Time show hosted by the one Ras Danny on KBOO RADIO 90.7 FM.
The formation of Dignity got a mention in this week's Thirty Year Anniversary issue of Willamette Week and a whole page in the Bay Area's "Street Spirit".
And as visitors to this site seem to like pics, here's one of Dignity officers meeting Commissioner Sam Adams at the "new" City Hall, and another of the builders of Dignity siting a newly constructed deck for a house.
Monday, March 7, 2005
Also in the current issue of Street Roots are these words from Whitaker Middle School, including Tim McCarthy by Jessica Jerkins, Dignity Village by Trisha N and another piece similarly titled by Jasmine Griffith.
Monday, February 28, 2005
THE TRANSFORMATION OF SUNDERLAND YARD CONTINUES
The transformation of Dignity Village from the shanty town that it became after its fifth sweep to the Village's present Sunderland Yard location begun during the Village Building Convergence (VBC) in the spring of 2003 continues unto this day.
Dignity Village was swept to its present piece of uneven asphalt on what was then part of Portland's leaf composting facility with the fall leaves in September, 2001, and what's most obviously apparent in this transformation is the houses that are being built everywhere in accordance with our
There are houses of many kinds in the Village now from Portland's first straw bale house built during VBC 2003 to the five light straw/clay infill (cob) houses begun and mostly completed during and after VBC 2004. Dignity probably has the largest collection of environmentally-friendly cob housing in the Pacific Northwest.
There is a charming house that Gaye Reyes now occupies built with a little help from Portland State's Community Development Club and modeled on a design taken directly from Samuel Mockby's Rural Studio. The interior of the house is nearly complete and finely detailed a credit to the skill and work of Village woodcrafter Big Al." Woodworking is really not a job for me," Al says. "It brings pleasure in so many ways." Gaye plans to send a photo of herself in her house when it's finished to Portland's former Mayor Katz, thanking her for helping locate this piece of God's earth and allowing her to have a home.
Treasurer Tim's house is built using standard stick framing on a ten by fifteen foot deck the requisite eighteen inches above the ground that the Bureau of Development Services recommends for all new structures, the height allowing Village cats' access underneath the decks to do their work of hunting rats and mice.
Tim points out that his house is reclaimed, having been formerly used and then moved by other Villagers to its new deck. The cedar shingles that adorn its front entrance and the siding on its front wall were also reclaimed from an old garage at Wendy Kohn's farm. The effect is a rugged exterior. "It's kinda like me," Tim says, "rugged looking on the outside, kinda like an old mountain man." The dwelling's exterior contrasts sharply with its interior of a blue-painted ceiling with clouds and stars, lavender walls and a bright purple carpet. "Once again," Tim points out, "it suits me."
The houses do not really belong to any individual Village member but are instead the property of Dignity Village, Inc, a membership-based non-profit incorporation registered with the state and federal governments. What was birthed by an act of civil disobedience and protest by homeless people who began a campaign has changed into what we are today. And the zoning of the land on which Dignity stands has changed in its designation from industrial to campground. Dignity Village is now Oregon's first transitional homeless campground.
What guides the transformation of this piece of ground is a vision picked up along the way along with many good supporters. It is the vision of a green, sustainable urban village where we may live simply and in harmony with our mother Earth and where we may do for and help ourselves and others. As our
To lend a hand building Dignity or to donate building materials, contact construction coordinator Ross at
For other material donations, contact Village donation coordinator Paul at
To donate cash to help our effort, click on the credit card icon on our website
To visit the Village or to schedule visits by schools and other organizations, contact outreach coordinator Tim McCarthy at
If you're homeless and interested in joining our company to transition up and out of homelessness while building community, housing and a useful model for other homeless people, contact Villager Kay at
Dignity Village has no paid staff and our membership and residents constantly seek paying jobs and work. If you know of any work or seek employees, call the Village JOB LINE (503) 493/0740.
We truly appreciate your support!
Monday, February 21, 2005
The occupation started in May 2004 in an area which has been abandoned for years and quickly gathered 3,000 families. In January, Justice ordered the eviction of the families and since then police have been terrifying the families with death threats and sudden attacks. In February 11, police showed up suddenly and shot gas and concussion bombs and fired rubber bullets against the people. One child got hit by a concussion bomb. On February 15, in another attack, police shot bombs and fired with guns. Two people got hurt. After pressure from social movements and human rights groups, state of Goiania's Governor Marconi Perillo committed himself not to send police to evict people in a violent way (you can hear his commitment in this recorded audio). Today's attack and the so far confirmed death of two people showed he did not stick to his words.
You can pressure authorities for the release of the arrested and for the investigation of the murders:
Marconi Ferreira Perillo, Goias State Governor Phone # 55 - 62 - 2131456 r.231 Fax # 55 - 62 - 2131479 or 2131481 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathas Silva Public Security Secretary Phone # 55 - 62 - 2651000 or 2651050 Fax # 55 - 62 - 2651001 or 2651002 E-mail: Isabela@go.gov.br
Regionally Seattle/King County's Tent Cities 3 and 4 have been put on a diet and ordered to slim down by next year. In "A neighborly plan" one option considered is giving King County's tent city residents bus rides to Portland. On the plus side, there were no protesters at Tent City 4's latest move.
From Portland's excellent Street Roots current issue we post "The Power of Who You Know (Open letter to the World Bank)" and as a preview from the latest edition currently in layout, "The fight to save the Farm." For background information about the Farm and directions to tomorrow's demo, simply follow the links.
At Dignity Village the building continues and soon we'll be producing greeting cards like these to help fund our project building housing, community and a model for other poor people.
Monday, February 7, 2005
We're pleased to add this pic of folksinger Utah Phillips and Sister's founder Genny Nelson standing on the porch of Portland's first straw bale house to the visitor's page of this site.
Many people have helped Dignity in its effort to build what some have called "the New Jerusalem, a new Mt Zion right here on Mother Earth," and we update our construction page to honor those members of our community both housed and unhoused who have helped along the way. All organizations and individuals interested in helping with our project are invited to contact us through this web site.
Monday, January 31, 2005
We post not one but two fliers for Washington State's "Globalization of Homelessness and Poverty" series. The lecture series is free and everyone's welcome to attend.
These Brueghelesque drawings were recently exhibited and may have a monetary value to their subjects. If you recognize yourself in any one of these exquisite drawings, kindly contact this web site.
Monday, January 24, 2005
The Thursday program is free and open to the public. It starts at 7 p.m. in Room 6 of the Multimedia Building on campus, 14204 NE Salmon Creek Ave.
The series, "Globalization of Homelessness and Poverty," runs through April 28th and will cover global and local perspectives. The series includes a March 31st session on documentary film making with Wendy Kohn of Kwamba Media Productions, the demonstration of a CD ROM tool from Kwamba's new media toolkit, a brief history of the formation of Dignity Village, and an April 14th panel discussion with representatives from social service agencies in Clark County.
For further details call (360) 546/9649 or check the University's web site.
Just in is this China Post report of the sweeping and cleansing of Nagoya Park of the homeless people living there in anticipation of the 2005 World Exposition which begins March 25th. City official Nobuo Yamanaka denies that people are being removed because of the exposition and claims necessary maintenance work like the trimming of trees for the park's beautification. For the full AP story click here.
For pics and the urgent appeal for letters of support and solidarity from our comrades of the Nagai Association of Poor People click here.
Locally, the Village Council supports the efforts of and endorses Try/on Life Community Farm and their struggle to establish an urban ecological agriculture education community on the opposite side of town in Southwest Portland. We may be on opposite sides of town and contain different subsets of Portland's citizenry but we like and fully approve what The Farm's doing!
Monday, January 17, 2005
In other media this update is "The Village That Shopping Carts Built" from Orion magazine and "On false promises and free breakfasts" from the latest Street Roots.
And we're pleased to post pics from December's Winter Solstice gathering at Dignity Village.
Monday, January 10, 2005
Saturday's Oregonian editorial The cure for homelessness praises Home Again - The 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness and bemoans the high cost to the taxpayer of shelter and housing for the homeless, both of which cost the Village about $3 per person per night. "Homelessness is an old problem," it says, "but the old, grizzled ways of approaching it aren't working very well."
You gotta love Portland! When a half-dozen Aryan Nation boneheads threatened to leaflet Gabriel Park with their hate literature, the response of protesters was rapid and massive.
Our community partners at Outside In are sponsoring another Free Medical Clinic at Dignity Village and as the Village is "homeless-friendly" and seeks to benefit the wider community, we invite all who require medical services to stop by the Village. For more information, phone Laura at 503/535-3890 or the Village at 503/281-1604 or 503/493-0740.
Finally, as visitors to this site seem to like photos, here's a pic of Dignity's Jack Tafari and the World Bank's Michael Woolcock sharing the podium at last October's Crisis Innovations Fair.
The photo was taken while both speakers were being introduced by Crisis UK's policy director Tariq Hilal and in the pic Woolcock appears to be praying. When the speakers met the previous night at Crisis' Skylight Café and exchanged pleasantries over glasses of wine, Tafari asked if Woolcock had seen the Stephanie Black film Life and Debt and wondered aloud why IMF and World Bank debt repayment schedules impacted so negatively on the Jamaican economy and increased the sufferation of that country's small farmers and workers, Woolcock jumped back as if shocked. "What are you going to do to me?" Woolcock asked who was first to speak at the conference. "Nothing," replied Tafari, "I'm speaking from a set presentation. But one day I'll write about our meeting and the World Bank's "social capital" construct." Perhaps this explains Mr. Woolcock's seeming attitude of prayer.
Monday, January 3, 2005
The Oregonian's editorial board's back on track and in fine form doing the same old thing in the New Year with their latest, gutless unsigned editorial "Creating a child friendly city" which came out yesterday. If it's not Dignity and the homeless arousing the ire of the O's crusading editors, it's Rose City Copwatch or gay marriage proponents and lately tsunami victims for not having an early warning system.
Street Roots' fine poetry edition hit the pavement last week and we post two poems from that issue on our poems and writings page.
Monday, December 27, 2004
Monday, December 20, 2004
The new Village Council is seven members strong with Jack Tafari again Chair and Tim McCarthy reelected Village Treasurer. Former security chief and building co-coordinator Chrysler Chelle is the new Vice Chair and Dean Marchioni is the new Village Secretary. On the whole, the Village is pleased with the election results and looks forward to the coming year.
"Everyone deserves dignity" is Street Roots' most recent editorial and we're pleased to post Keith Vann's thoughtful letter "Things you can do to help homeless people regain their dignity."
And here's community reporter Christina Heatherton's piece "On false promises and free breakfasts" straight from the trenches of the Ventura River Basin.
Monday, December 13, 2004
The West Coast homeless are organized and creative in their housing solutions, but Jeffery Archer's amazing house in Laramie, Wyoming, is certainly and notably innovative. One thing Attorney Vaugn Neubauer had right is how different the political and legal geographies are between the blue states of the West Coast and the way things stay there in red Wyoming.
WRAP's recent compilation "Everyday Revolutions" saw its debut on Thursday and we're pleased to see Laura Brown's "Homeless Karma" in that fine edition which we proudly post on our Poetry and Writings page.
Monday, December 6, 2004
The latest issue of Street Roots recently hit the streets. Israel Bayer's frontpage lead story "Dubious Distinctions" looks at Portland's achievements over the past year in a solidly national context while Joanne Zuhl's interview with Dignity's Ambassador Orion Gray places the issue of homelessness in a global context.
Finally, we're pleased to post Tanzi Smith's paper "Dignity Village - Part of the symptoms of and solutions to homelessness" which was recently submitted to the School of Social Science and Planning at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.
Monday, November 29, 2004
We talked, among other things, about Dignity Village and Portland's progressive campground approach as a possible alternative to the current crisis in affordable housing which contrasts sharply with Florida's and where 25,000 homes were destroyed in recent hurricanes with another 50,000 so severely structurally damaged as to require demolition. Hopefully few of Florida's recently homeless population will find it necessary to seek relief in Key West!
Kelpie Wilson's recent truthout editorial A Virtual Ecotopia speaks of Ernest Callenbach's Ecotopia and blue state secession, namechecks Dignity Village and even mentions our site Dignity Virtual Village. Meanwhile Dignity Village, one of those anomalies and seemingly insignificant bleeps on the edge of the radar screen that no one really notices, keeps bleeping and becoming brighter, shifting the paradigm as anomalies are wont to do, a harbinger of things to come that precedes the coming shift in human consciousness.
Our photo pages get a disproportionate number of hits and as visitors seem to enjoy pics, we're pleased to post this one of Christina Heatherton, a reporter who recently visited the Village. The pic was taken on a sunny October day using a digital camera with Ginju's recently completed light straw/clay infill house as a backdrop.
Monday, November 22, 2004
There were a number of passages at Dignity Village over the past month. Dignity's provisional Mayor Grandma Coyote left us last month and A Farewell to Jada and Grandma of politics leaves void in Portland both note her passing. Old Nate, the Village's oldest resident, left the nursing home and came home to die in Dignity among family and friends. Nate was 74. And Dog Dave's beloved Magic, after a long life of service and companionship, finally found her rest.
Monday, November 15, 2004
On a local level, Tom Potter is Portland's new mayor, a victory that made national news and demonstrates the power of grassroots campaigns like Mr. Potter's over big money. Here's a story of Tom Potter's journey to office from The Oregonian.
There have been a lot of stories in the local papers about Dignity Village including Portrait of Dignity from The Observer. Patricia Cook, photographed in the Village's common area, would like everyone to know she's 58 years old, however, not 71 as reported!
Ryland Auburn's essay "A Tale of Tent Cities" has reached the semi-finalist stage in this year's Berkeley Prize Competition and favorably compares Portland's urban planning to Los Angeles'.
Finally, there were three keynote speakers at this year's 6th annual Crisis Innovations Fair, among whom was Dignity Village's Jack Tafari. For the full conference report, simply click here. Dignity's report is still in preparation.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Nonetheless, the show went on Saturday night at Liberty Hall where the Village Players turned in a very credible performance of their acclaimed play. And tomorrow night's performance at Washington State University is rated as a "must see" and "pick of the week" in Clark County's Columbian newspaper.
This week we post new pics on our visitors page of Wavy Gravy and Jahanara Romney who passed through Dignity Village on their way from Hood River's Hoodstock Festival, also of some of the newer construction of the cob houses we are building.
Monday, October 5, 2004
In Street Roots' special election edition, many grassroots organizations including Dignity Village put good questions to the candidates running for office. To see how they responded, simply click here.
Dignity's emissary to Osaka's tent villages recently returned to this country. Here's Orion Gray's piece about Japan's Tent Villages from a recent issue of Clamor magazine.
The next performance by the Village Players of The Filmore Hotel is at Teatro Milagro on Thursday and we hope to see you there!
Monday, September 27, 2004
Regionally, there's an important convergence coming up on October 15, 16 and 17th. The West Coast Tent City Convergence is being held on those dates as part of the Northwest Social Forum at Seattle Center and tent city efforts from Denver to Vancouver, B.C., will be in attendance.
Internationally, this year's Crisis Innovations Fair is also coming up in October in London in the U.K. The theme of this year's fair is "Homelessness and Loneliness: Building Social Capital in the Twenty-first Century" and will feature a speaker from Dignity Village.
Monday, September 20, 2004
Monday, September 13, 2004
Chrysler Chelle's OP ED piece saw the light of print. Here's a letter responding to an Oregonian article about Mr. Francesconi's solution for Dignity Village that didn't.
The revival of our play The Filmore Hotel may be coming soon to a theater near you depending, of course, on where you live. If you live in Tillamook County, you may be aware that the Board of Commissioners has declared September 20 -- 27 Homeless Awareness Week which nicely coincides with the Village Players' two performances at the Bay City Arts Center there.
Finally, we're honoured to post Marian Macindoe's long paper Establishing Dignity: From Tense Beginnings to Legalization, recently submitted to The London School of Economics and Political Science' Department of Geography and Environment, before it ultimately sees publication in some prestigious academic journal. Marian's paper comes from a place of urban planning and shows a way forward not only for Dignity Village but ultimately for us all.
Tuesday, August 24, 20004
Monday, August 9, 2004
Nationally, poor people are on the move. Fiery activist Cheri Honkala and an army of homeless men, women and children are currently marching across New Jersey and about to descend on the Republican Convention.
Regionally, NIMBYism blasts our Tent City 4 brothers and sisters. Here's a recent story from the King County Journal, also Tent City 4's info page.
Locally, we're pleased to post these pics of Patricia Cook working in the gardens of Dignity. Look for Patricia's "Building Community" in an upcoming WRAP zine.
Monday, August 2, 2004
Locally, the big news is that the City OKs $11 million for affordable housing which may also be found in Street Roots' latest issue. And while mayoral candidate Francesconi grandstands and some of the the money goes to the Transition to Housing project which includes our friends at JOIN, the vast amount of the money can only be used for bricks and mortar projects.
Meanwhile Dignity Village continues its straw and clay approach to building affordable housing. Dignity thanks the students from Portland State's Community Development Club who came out Friday to help us build the deck for our next cob house. Here's the Dignity News Release Crew's latest update, printed in full, from August's Portland Alliance.
Homeless people are dying of neglect on the streets all over the world in ever-increasing numbers, some to the violence of bush beaters who seek out isolated campers, others to diseases like AIDS. We're pleased to post this link to photographer Judy Jones' eye-opening spread THE BONES OF THE HOMELESS WILL RISE TO HAUNT THOSE THAT HAD CLOSED EYES and the letter she sent this Village.
Note that Ms. Jones says that while taking these photographs she was so overwhelmed at one point that she left her camera on a bus bench and never bought another. It is our hope that some kind benefactor somewhere send photographer Judy a camera that she may continue taking her haunting and awareness-raising pix.
Finally, our comrades from Osaka's Nagai Park Tent Village sent along this photograph from their recent exhibition taken during July's Dairin Matsuri festival. The exhibition depicts poor people's housing alternatives from around the world.
Monday, July 26, 2004
Last week Tacoma/Pierce County's Coalition for the Homeless visited Dignity Village's coalition OF the homeless to check our model and each group was probably equally curious about the other. Here's the story about their road trip from the Tacoma Tribune. Meanwhile as Tacoma's service providers check a number of possible models and options, Winter is coming on fast and might beat a tent city to town.
Many school groups stop by Dignity to help us build and mud our houses, some coming from as far away as Idaho and Alaska. Dignity Village would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and students of the City Survival Summer School of the Southeast Island School District who came all the way from Thorne Bay, Alaska, to help us build. Big thanks!
Monday, July 19, 2004
Here's more about the Mumford Award from the latest issue of Street Roots, also more about the ten year plan to combat homelessness in Helping the Homeless from the recent Daily Vanguard.
If you wonder about what happened to Denver's Tent City Initiative and how that magnificent initiative got shot down, check Kimberly Peterson's Camping Commonalities.
We like pics and so apparently do visitors to our site. Here's a pic of Dignity's Treasurer and outreach coordinator Tim, looking every inch the mad, early 18th Century Luddite!
Monday, July 12, 2004
Locally Dignity Village and community partners City Repair Project were recognized by national organization architects/designers/planners for social responsibility last Saturday evening at Sunnyside Piazza in Portland with the prestigious Lewis Mumford Award for development. Here's our release.
Finally we post some pics from Watchdawg's memorial service and a review of the Village Players' performance of The Filmore Hotel.
Monday, June 28, 2004
June 7, 2004
There's some great art work and poetry in the latest street roots, including this piece by militant artist Alex Lilly.
The kept press writes about the encampment under the Morrison Bridge near Dignity's third (not first) site, erroneously refers to Randy McKee as our Treasurer (new Secretary Randy replaced Secretary Brenda who recently made the transition to permanent housing), and takes the Village to task for not transitioning people from the streets into housing quickly enough. Dignity's current temporary freeze on admissions is necessary as we reconstruct the Village, tearing down sub-standard structures and replacing them with beautiful, environmentally-friendly ones as per our proposal.
When the kept press writes about us, an editorial is almost de rigueur. Here's The Oregonian's latest smear.
Wednesday, June 2, 2004
Regionally there’s a wedding at Tent City 4 in Bothel, WA.
Locally the Village Players performed Helen Hill’s The Filmore Hotel to acclaim and a packed house at the Pine Street Theater last Saturday night. For more pre-press about the play, click here.
Many of us appreciate the latest Francesconi jokes making the rounds. And Dignity Village topped the Super-Special Eight-Days-Later Election Edition winners’ barometer in last week’s Willamette Week. Nuff said.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Dignity’s village council of course endorses SHARE/WHEEL’s Tent City 4 action and watches with close attention its upcoming legal fight. We say, "Go! TC4! Go!"
At Dignity we’re currently building many code compliant, earth-friendly dwellings in conjunction the 4th annual Village Building Convergence. For a calendar of this week’s VBC4 events, simply click here.
Dignity’s Village Players are also rehearsing our first play, The Filmore Hotel. Playwright Helen Hill’s original and compelling work has great promise and everyone’s cordially invited to attend.
Friday, May 14, 2004
Monday, May 10, 2004
Locally The Willamette Week endorses Tom Potter's campaign for mayor of Portland and, if local polls are accurate, it looks like a runoff and a real race for the office of mayor of this town. The city and county begin looking at new ways to provide affordable housing for the poor.
Regionally SHARE/WHEEL's plan for Seattle's fourth tent city was met with fierce NIMBYism by local property owners who castigate King County Executive Ron Sims and file a lawsuit. Meanwhile TC4's set up date has been delayed until May 17th.
And oh the wolfpack journalists! Here's a recent and somewhat accurate story about the Dignity model transplanted to other places.
Monday, May 3, 2004
Dignity's visionary architect Mark Lakeman is running for Commissioner Randy Leonard's seat on City Council. Mark says it's time to end the social holocaust.
Watchdawg's memorial service was well attended yesterday. Here's a pic of the Watchdawg we all know courtesy of The Larson Legacy's archives.
Vancouver, British Columbia's Hope Village Council recently sent along its proposal for a tent city, which we post in full. Dignity Village of course wishes the HVC all success in its endeavor!
And finally Dignity's Village Players are performing playwright Helen Hill's The Filmore Hotel at the Pine Street Theater later this month. It's the compelling true story of the gentrification of a hotel and the displacement of a community. Don't miss it!
Monday, April 26, 2004
We recently reconstructed our computer network at the village which now includes 40 gigabyte hard drives, Barton 3200 AMD CPU, and 256-512 megabyte RAM. We've also upgraded our Web site which now has its very own search engine.
The first issue of Our Dignity, the village paper, recently saw publication. Here it is online.
Some of Portland's mayoral candidates talk about the diminishing stock of affordable housing in the latest Skanner. Here's what they had to say.
Monday, April 19, 2004
Contender Tom Potter likes that we've taken control of our lives and are helping ourselves and other homeless people, a fact that seems to disturb some service providers and mess with their raison d' etre. Commissioner Jim Francesconi, on the other hand, doesn't think Dignity's pragmatic approach is the best solution for homelessness and says conditions in our clean, safe, well-run encampment are "less than subhuman."
Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich recently visited Dignity Village and talked about affordable housing, living wage jobs, the state of the nation in general. Here's what the candidate has to say about affordable housing.
Dignity Village's council recently formally endorsed SHARE/WHEEL's proposed Tent City 4 in Seattle which goes forward on May 6. For more information about SHARE/WHEEL's direct action to save lives, kindly contact either SHARE -- (206) 448 7889 -- or WHEEL -- (206) 956 0334.
And what's this? A curmudgeon? A Luddite? A chief Rasta? We like Westword's news editor Amy Haimerl's Pitching Tents for its honesty and also because she took the trouble to spend a day and night at Dignity Village to research and write her article. Amy's companion piece Gimme Shelter looks at tent cities across the nation.
Monday, April 12, 2004
Denver's Tent City Initiative take their proposal for a tent city before their city council today. DERA's (Downtown Eastside Residents Association) proposal for a Hope Village, based in part on Dignity, goes before city council in Vancouver, B.C., on April 22nd. We wish them both success.
Locally we push for the Right to Sleep. And Jim Francesconi's pleading poverty? But we thought Commissioner Francesconi would never join our camp because he's rich and has plenty of assets!
Monday, March 29, 2004
Some of the brothers and sisters from Seattle's TC3 visited Dignity last week and presented our council with this letter, invited us to attend their fourth anniversary celebration. Big thanks, brothers and sisters!
Meanwhile, Portland's million dollar mayoral candidate Jim Francesconi introduced a rewrite of Portland's exclusion law which will allow even the concessionaires at golf courses to exclude those engaged in big money drug deals! Of course, this legislation as rewritten is likelier to impact on Portland's poor forced to sleep in public parks rather than drug dealers on golf courses and will allow police, security guards and yes, even golf course concessionaires, to arrest, try, and convict suspected offenders. Nice one, Jim!
Monday, March 22, 2004
The new, award-winning film Bum's Paradise is being screened at the Village as well as at a number of other local venues. For a complete list of venues and showtimes, click here. Bum's Paradise is currently touring the West Coast and being shown from Berkeley to Seattle. For more about this important, awareness raising film, check the filmmaker's site by simply clicking here.
Dignity Village is currently gathering materials to build its own ecologically friendly, code-compliant housing. We also seek funds to achieve our aims and do this in a number of ways.
One way we raise money is by marketing our popular tee shirts. Digni-tees cost $15 and are available at the Village as well as at EarthTones Imports at Saturday Market. Be aware that the full cost of our tees benefits not only Dignity Village but also the wider homeless community, that there are no administrative costs. All the money we raise goes to the cause!
Finally, Keith Vann's latest Street Roots column dispels many of the myths promulgated by the misinformed.
Monday, March 8, 2004
Soon Dignity's embarking on a massive building project which starts in May with the 4th Annual Village Building Convergence. Here's a list of tools and building supplies our building and maintenence committee is gathering toward that time and any donated tools or materials would be greatly appreciated!
Monday, March 1, 2004
This week we post our release and a commentary from the Portland Communique, a copy of the City Council's resolution which legalizes Dignity, today's street roots, also one reaction from The Oregonian's editorialists, our Service and Statistical Report for 2003, all in no particular order.
We're pleased to post the text of Denver's mighty Proposal for the creation of a tent city, a document recently received and still under review by our organization.
Our Japanese comrades recently updated their site to include some English. Kindly note the request for signatures for a petition for the release of Comrade K, arrested for providing a mailing address for local homeless people.
Monday February 23, 2004
Letters of support, of course, are always welcome and appreciated. They should be sent to Mayor Vera Katz and Commissioners Erik Sten, Randy Leonard, Dan Saltzman and Jim Francisconi. Also appreciated will be your presence for this crucial vote at City Hall come the day. The day's this Thursday, February 23, at 2:30 PM and we hope to see you there.
Dignity Village generally gets its best coverage locally in popular papers like street roots, the Portland Mercury, The Portland Tribune, nationally in papers like The New York Times. Randy Gragg's "Preserving Dignity" came out over the weekend in The Oregonian, the paper with those consistently awful editorials about us. Randy's piece is beautifully researched, accurate, the finest piece written about this Village from an architectural perspective since Guerilla City appeared in Architecture magazine.
Monday February 16, 2004
Tony Robinson's thoughtful opinion piece saw print not long ago in the Rocky Mountain News.
Monday February 9, 2004
Portland's homeless community rallied during the Big Freeze. This story from the Daily Vanguard.
Monday February 2, 2004
If the Village's response time to enquiries coming through this Web site isn't at its usual rapid fire rate, please understand that our communications system is currently under repair from damage done to it by the cold of the recent Big Freeze.
Our friends and comrades of Osaka's Nagai Park tentcity send along these pics of recent anti-war demonstrations in Kyoto and even contribute a caption.
Monday January 26, 2004
Denver's homeless start up their own tent city initiative which immediately draws fire from the Denver Post's editors in this "can of worms" editorial. The Oregonian, on the other hand, refuses to acknowledge -- let alone publish -- our recently submitted response to their latest warning. But we post it anyway!
We post loads of pics of the recent Big Freeze.
Monday January 19, 2004
This article saw ink in the last Nojiren Newsletter. The article is about Dignity Village but reflects on Nojiren of Tokyo's fifth year of action. It arrived at the Village last week with a gift of twenty "Pride on the Streets" tee shirts sent "from the hearts and souls of the women and men of Nojiren" and this incredible photo of Yamamoto-san printing the shirts. We give thanks!
Dignity Village extends heartfelt thanks to our many friends and supporters near and far who are always there for us and never hesitate to step forward when asked. Big thanks! Dignity Village even thanks its detractor Lars Larsen who, in his own way, keeps Dignity in the public eye and shines the light of protekshan upon we.
Monday January 12, 2004
We post a recent press release about our new fire stations, more pics from our Osaka comrades. We hold off posting the Village's response to a recent Oregonian editorial until it has a chance to see print.
Monday January 5, 2004
This report from emissary Orion in Japan, new pics courtesy of our Osaka comrades.
Finally this news item about the dismantling of an encampment was spotted by a former villager. Dome Village in Los Angeles, of course, was an early Dignity inspiration.
Monday December 29, 2003
Here are two articles from the Sacramento Bee about Billy McManus' trials and crosses sent along by Dignity's friend Paula.
Paula says McManus "went to court originally for 3 camping tickets. Jury decided 'not guilty' on one count. The other counts, hung jury (I think one juror saying 'guilty'). Kelly Tanalepe (attorney) used the necessity defense. Then the city took the hung jury counts to retrial. This time they brought the big guns, Samuel Jackson, THE City Attorney and his entourage to prosecute. The Judge would not allow the necessity defense to be brought up. The city quickly won. Then those two guilty charges, defense took to Appellate Court which they did not win, or appeal refused (I'll have to verify which). So original charges were 30 days in jail, Stay Away order for the American River Parkway and Sutter's Landing, and 3 years informal probation. His most recent 6 camping tickets that Tommy Clinkenbeard, Public Defender, was defending for Billy, were just dropped."
"In the [accompanying] articles," Paula says, "Billy is accused of 'choosing to be homeless', 'service resistant,' 'militant'? He is a very pleasant man. I asked him a couple months ago if he had a place indoors with a little yard for his dogs, wouldn't he choose to live indoors? Of course he wouldn't hesitate to choose 'indoors'. It was even presented in court about Billy's love for his dogs, they are his family. He couldn't consider abandoning them. For what, a two week stay in a shelter? Poster boy for the homeless? Actually he has been the main target, scapegoat, for the police and rangers. They have put immense effort into harassing him in particular, and their efforts toward assuring Billy lost. I haven't gotten the final estimate of how much it cost the city to fight Billy this hard, but we got intelligent estimate before that it would cost them, probably $200,000 in the end, and I don't know if that is including Samuel Jackson's salary portion. Do you think they may have considered that for $200,000 they could have bought Billy a nice, nice house with a big yard, outright? They never offered him any service that would have gotten him and his dogs indoors. I haven't talked to him today, so I haven't confirmed if he will definitely have to go to jail. I'll try to find out if his dogs are alright, too. Here's the two articles, letters to editor can be sent to email@example.com."
Over the last week's Oregonian, first "Fire strikes Dignity Village..." which in turn elicits the predictable editorial "Fire should serve as warning," this time with the finger of warning firmly wagged at Portland's City Council.
Monday December 22, 2003
We're all pretty pleased with the new council configuration. Dignity's council is now 13 councillors broad. Ron Wold, former village security chief, is Dignity's new chairman. Jack Tafari moved to the vice chairman slot while Brenda Gray and Tim McCarthy retained their seats as secretary and treasurer respectively.
Meanwhile, the City has until January 10th to respond Lars Larson's complaint. For more about "radio ratings monster" Larson's bizarre motivations, here's what Chuck Currie has to say.
Monday December 15, 2003
Beware of those dodgy charities that give 85 percent and more of every dollar collected to the telemarketing firms they employ. Be aware also that 100 percent of every dollar that Dignity raises goes for the benefit of its membership and the wider homeless community, pure homeless helping homeless.
Monday December 8, 2003
Monday December 1, 2003
Monday November 24, 2003
Hubbird's reminiscence "Dignity Village - Nonviolent Warriors for Homeland Peace & Justice" should see ink in next month's Oregon PeaceWorker. We submit our own co-written article "Dignity Village Submits Proposal to City" to the Portland Alliance. In other news, Arizona's homeless and others protest their criminalization.
The good news is that number crunchers announced recently a 0.4-percent drop in Oregon's high unemployment rate. Also good is that the village Job Line is up and fully functioning.
Monday November 10, 2003
Professor Susan Finley's rethink of the politics of homelessness and poverty, The faces of dignity, was recently published in Qualitative Studies in Education. This work we post along with its companion piece, The power of space.
Our recent proposal to the city remains under consideration. Tomorrow we're hosting a free veterinary clinic and Saturday we are attending a performance of the play Carousel.
Monday November 3, 2003
street roots reports the sweeping of Village Integrity, the facts about our new proposal, and news of a hurdle overcome by another homeless village in Berkeley, CA.
Since October's Baraccopoli Village article appeared in L'espresso, Italian television picks up the story. Stay tuned to Italian TV network La7 for news of an upcoming one-hour special about poverty in America later this month.
Monday October 27, 2003
We presented our new Dignity Village Proposal, 2004- to Mayor Katz and all four city commissioners last Wednesday and now await the City's response. What we propose is ambitious and our proposal's an impressive piece of work, a starting place as Commissioner Sten says.
Local conservative talkshow host Lars Larson, possibly in a bid to boost his program's ratings, filed a code complaint with the City last week against Dignity Village. Building code is all about safety and as per our proposal, we hope to come into code compliance soon. Dignity Village is much safer than living under a bridge.
Why did Dignity Village succeed in Portland while a similar effort failed in Sacramento? Jason MacCannell's recent study, A Tale of Two Tent Cities, compares the tactics, social geographies and political cultures of these two West Coast cities.
Our good friends and allies at crossroads are doing some impressive work on the Grassroots Ten-year Plan to End Homelessness. Here's the latest news.
Dignity Village gets many visitors and this week we post pics of mayoral candidate Tom Potter, supporter Kathy Larson, Sarah Kershaw of the New York Times, and a recent visitor and delegate from Osaka's Nagai Park Tent Village.
Monday October 20, 2003
Monday October 13, 2003
Meanwhile we await the visit of a comrade from the Nagai Park tentcity in Osaka, Japan, and the arrival of copies of a recent edition of the Italian L'espresso which we hear features a piece about our village. Now if only we could read Italian...
Monday October 6, 2003
Wednesday October 1, 2003
"Dignity Village is the ONLY model of participatory, self-governed community with an ecological vision in this town. It is the ONLY walkable community, not dependent on or invaded by cars, with a localized economy which encourages communication and cultural development. It is also the most efficient self-help model for homeless people in the nation."
Here's a news item about the way other homeless people not blessed with a village or adequate housing in Portland are living. And finally, here's the Oregonian's predictably dire editorial which rightly commends the placement service JOIN's laudable efforts at getting people into what affordable housing there is but wrongly denigrates our vision and minimizes our efforts to help ourselves and others. Check our site Monday coming up for a perhaps less-biased view about Dignity Village in an up-coming article in the New York Times.
Monday September 22, 2003
Monday September 15, 2003
Monday September 8, 2003
Monday August 25, 2003
This Thursday Dignity's hosting an anti-war poetry reading and potluck picnic. It's absolutely free and everybody's welcome. Bring food, poetry and songs to share if you can. For more information, click here. To find out where we are, just click on the URL.
Monday August 18, 2003
Monday August 11, 2003
Monday August 3, 2003
Monday July 28, 2003
Monday July 21, 2003
Monday July 14, 2003
Monday July 7, 2003
Monday June 30, 2003
Monday June 23, 2003
Monday June 16, 2003
Monday June 2, 2003
Monday May 26, 2003
Monday May 19, 2003
Monday May 12, 2003
Monday May 5, 2003
Monday April 28, 2003
Monday April 21, 2003
Monday April 7, 2003
Monday March 31, 2003
Monday March 24, 2003
Monday March 10, 2003
Wednesday March 5, 2003
Monday February 24, 2003
Monday February 17, 2003
Monday February 10, 2003
Monday February 3, 2003
Monday January 27, 2003
Monday January 20, 2003
Monday January 13, 2003
Monday January 6, 2003
Monday December 30, 2002
Monday December 23, 2002
Monday December 16, 2002
Monday December 9, 2002
Tuesday December 3, 2002
Monday November 11, 2002
Monday November 4, 2002
Monday October 21, 2002
Monday October 14, 2002
Monday October 7, 2002
Monday September 23, 2002
Monday, September 16, 2002
Monday, August 26, 2002
"Most of us have been watched by Geheimnis Polizei or state violences like the FBI or COINTELPRO... Some day, I hope you will be able to see your comrades friendly faces on our web site." -- Rebel Jill. To see a digitally-masked photo of Lee Larson, click here.
Monday, August 12, 2002
Monday, August 5, 2002
Monday, July 29, 2002
Monday, July 22, 2002
Monday, July 15, 2002
Monday, July 1, 2002
Monday, June 17, 2002
Monday, June 10, 2002
Monday, June 3, 2002
Monday, May 27, 2002
Monday, May 6, 2002
Monday, April 29, 2002
Monday, April 15, 2002
Monday, April 8, 2002
Friday, April 5, 2002
Monday, April 1, 2002
Homeless Summit in Santa Cruz, CA, set for May 3-4, 2002.
Monday, March 25, 2002
Monday, March 18, 2002
Monday, March 11, 2002
Monday, March 4, 2002
Tuesday, February 19, 2002
Friday, February 8, 2002
Monday, February 4, 2002
Monday, January 14, 2002
Monday, January 7, 2002
Monday, December 17th, 2001
Monday, December 10th, 2001
Monday, December 3rd, 2001
Thursday, November 1st, 2001
Saturday, October 27th, 2001
Click here to read more about the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood association meeting, or click here to read coverage of the move in the Oregonian.
Sunday, October 21th, 2001
Monday, October 15th, 2001
Tuesday, October 9th, 2001
Sunday, October 7th, 2001
A note: This is the first update to the site in the past few weeks. However, as things begin to heat up again we will update this site more often. Check back for new updates to the site in the next week.
Saturday, September 15th, 2001
Tuesday, September 11th, 2001
For more details from the Oregonian, click here.
Monday, September 10th, 2001
Sunday, September 9th, 2001
Later this morning supporters and villagers gathered at Dignity's new site, Sunderland Yard, to build a deck for tents and erect several structures donated by City Repair, including a tower and a dome. The deck was constructed to keep tents off the pavement which is subject to flooding, and Dignity Village's flag was placed on top of the dome. The work party was followed by a pot-luck this afternoon.
Friday, September 7th, 2001
We still have a lot of work to do at the Sunderland site. There will be a work party at the new site, this Sunday starting at 10:00 a.m., Sept. 9th, to make the Sunderland site livable for the next 60 days. We would like to thank City Repair for spearheading the work party. All supporters are invited to show up for the work party, and we will be having a pot luck later that day at 1 PM. People are welcome to come to either or both events!
A street map showing the new locations can be viewed here, and a Tri-Met bus map can be viewed here.
Wednesday, September 5th, 2001
Other villagers have decided to move to alternate encampments around the city instead of relocating to Sunderland, which they feel is too far from jobs and social services in the urban core.
For more on todays events click here.
Sunderland Yard is located at the end of the Tri-Met 10 line next to the Columbia River
Correctional Facility, to access a Tri-Met bus map and schedule for the 10 line,
Tuesday, September 4th, 2001
For up to date information form Portland Indymedia click here.
Oregonlive is taking an online poll on Dignity's decision to not move to the City-proposed site.
The poll is worded strangely, so if you support Dignity's decision not to move to the new site,
select "No, the City of Portland is being unfair and should leave Dignity Village where it is."
Monday, Spetemeber 3rd, 2001
Sunday, September 2nd, 2001
Friday, August 31th, 2001
Wednesday, August 29th, 2001
Monday, August 27, 2001
Monday, August 20, 2001
Wednesday, August 1, 2001
Tuesday, July 24, 2001
Monday, July 9, 2001
Thursday, June 28, 2001
Tuesday, June 26, 2001
Thursday, June 21, 2001
Tuesday, June 12, 2001
Saturday, June 9, 2001 - 11:43
Tuesday, Jun 5, 2001
Thursday, April 19, 2001
Monday, March 21, 2001
Monday, February 5, 2001
Thursday, February 1, 2001
Wednesday, January 24, 2001