November 2000 Issue of street roots

Out of the Doorways by Christmas

by Jack Tafari
staff writer

Have you heard the good news, homeless people? We are coming out of the doorways, coming out from under the bridges. We are setting ourselves up a tent city. We are coming in from the cold.

We homeless people in Portland, Oregon, have initiated a campaign to get ourselves out of the doorways by Christmas. The first organizational meeting of our campaign, Out of the Doorways, was held on Oct 12, 2000. It was well-attended. At that meeting we set up our legal, media and fund-raising teams. We are looking for a piece of fallow public land.

In the wake of the landmark decision of Sept 27, 2000, by Multnomah County Judge Steven Gallagher, who ruled unconstitutional Portland's nineteen-year-old camping ban, we homeless people have decided to set up a tent city here in Portland. We are hoping to get official sanction for this site. We intend to first set up a sanctioned tent city, which we will then shore up and permanentize. We shall rely on our own creativity and abilities. Ultimately, if left to our own devices and with the goodwill of our neighbors, we shall build a self-sustaining community in tune with the natural environment, along the lines of the Dome Village/Justiceville community in Los Angeles, complete with gardens, vineyards, and orchards. Our vision and ultimate goal is to begin building the new Jerusalem, a new Mount Zion, right here in Portland, Oregon. This is our ultimate goal.

Right now we need to get ourselves out of the doorways, out from under the bridges and into a tent city. We of the Out of the Doorways campaign are mobilizing toward accomplishing this first step by Christmas, 2000. We need shelter and a secure place to store our things. There is much work to be done. We know that the only way we will get these things is that if we get them ourselves. We appreciate all solidarity and support in the community, be it informational, financial or technical. Come to our fourth organizational meeting at the Martial Art Gallery on Thursday, Nov 9, 2000, between 6 and 8 PM. The Martial Art Gallery is located at 18 NW Third Avenue near Burnside. We want to hear from all good people in the community, homeless and otherwise.

Contact us at or phone us at (503) 228-5657. Or stop by
street roots
1231 SW Morrison
Portland, Oregon 97205
Everybody is welcome.