PDX Shelter Forum - pdxshelterforum@groups.io


new (March 26, 2021): PDX Shelter Forum legislation tracker! 
open document with notes on legislation we're tracking or possibly supporting


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A) Purpose

PDX Shelter Forum is for news, discussion, proposals regarding alternative shelter and village responses to homelessness, particularly in the Portland, Oregon area and for those currently unsheltered. (i.e. on street, not in emergency shelter or transitional housing). Our goal is to help collaboratively develop and implement humane, creative, and cost-effective strategies to allow everyone a decent and safe place to live. In support of that, we aim to create as diverse, open, community-representative, and constructive a forum as possible. 

We particularly welcome a) anyone with experience working in shelters/housing or services for the unhoused; and, because typically underrepresented in discussions, and especially relevant, b) anyone with current or former experience of homelessness; or c) especially likely to have inadequate or insecure housing, including but not limited to people who are:

  • very or extremely low income
  • evicted or displaced 
  • have criminal record
  • undocumented immigrant 
  • disabled 
  • have substance abuse issues
  • LGBTQ+
  • formerly in foster care
  • Native American
  • African-American

Alternative shelter here means alternatives to traditional, congregate (shared space), nighttime homeless shelters, such as:

  • authorized safe sleeping or camping areas
  • "safe parking" areas
  • small shelter or cabin or tiny house villages
  • mobile or interim dwellings
  • home share programs
Shelter here means, in the general sense, like dwelling; not specifically as used in US homelessness field. 

Village means, a self-managed community of cost-effective tiny houses or other alternative dwellings, for people in need of housing. For more on this, see SquareOne Villages' Toolbox site, and the in-progress community book Village Buildings by Tim McCormick / Village Collaborative. 

This forum began in association with the Portland Forum on Alternative Shelter & Villages, a June 25, 2020 event organized by Interfaith Alliance on Poverty, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, and Village Collaborative, sponsored by IA and NECN, held (virtually) in Portland, Oregon. Agenda, event video, notes, etc from this are available at:  bit.ly/pdxshelterforum. 

For another overview of this initiative, see: "Community Proposal on Alternative Shelter & Villages",  our Aug 5, 2020 presentation to Portland / Multnomah County's homelessness policy board, A Home For Everyone, (Coordinating Board). 

B) Tips & good practices: 

1. If you join the group, you'll receive members' posts in the group by email, and you can post either by replying to any message, or emailing to group address pdxshelterforum@groups.io. You can also read messages or post at the web site, and change settings to receive only periodic digest or announcement emails, or no emails, at https://groups.io/g/pdxshelterforum. Note that messages posted are publicly readable unless removed by group moderator, which you can request. 

2. It's helpful to post a quick 'hello' or introduction when you join group. You can say who you are, what working on, any questions or particular interest, etc. This is a good way to help you and everyone get more from the group. 

3. Try to keep discussions in 'threads', or topics, by Replying to the most recent message on the topic you're replying to, so the Subject line stays the same. This helps people understand the context, focus on message or not, and makes the system cluster those messages together, in the web site and in many people's email inboxes. 
    3b. Conversely, if you want to post on a new/different topic, send a new email and/or change the Subject line to what you want to post about. 

4. Please be respectful of everyone here, and of participants' wide range of viewpoints, backgrounds, circumstances, housing statuses, knowledge levels, technology uses, etc.  Also, respectful of people's time and attention, recognizing that any message you send will go to 200+ people, and that the health & survival of the forum depends on posts being generally helpful, interesting, and on-topic so that we retain and add members.   

No commercial solicitation, or fundraising unless specifically related to this forum's topic and locale. Members posting inappropriately, in the moderator's judgement, will be switched to 'moderated' (messages need moderator approval before they go out) or unsubscribed. 

5. Too many messages? it happens, we understand. You can manage or fix this by using the links on the bottom of every message to to either

     a) Mute This Topic (the current 'thread' of set of messages with same Subject line).  

     b) Unsubscribe. If you choose Unsubscribe, you'll be given alternatives to:

  • Switch to Daily Summary
  • Switch to Special Notices Only (e.g. from admin),
  • Cancel and Stay (cancel unsubscribe request), 
  • Leave Group (need re-approval to rejoin).
6. To make sure you receive messages, or if you find messages from this group are going into your 'Spam' or 'Trash' etc folders, you may want to add email address pdxshelterforum@groups.io to your safe sender list in your email program’s contacts.


C) Moderator / Contact

please let us know if you have any questions, issues, or ideas about the PDX Shelter Forum initiative or this email group.

Co-organizer & moderator: Tim McCormickVillage Collaborative.   

General contact / inquiries address for project: pdxshelterforum@gmail.com.

Note: pdxshelterforum.org is the planned long-term web address for PDX Shelter Forum initiative. For now (August 2020) it redirects to the group's home page on Groups.io platform, and the two addresses are interchangeable. 

Organizers' project document:  bit.ly/pdxshelterforum-project (access restricted). 

Coalition project document: bit.ly/pdxshelterforum-coalition (access restricted). 



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