Re: R2DToo rest area continues despite funding denial, C3PO camps face closure

Lisa Hawash

Thank you for sharing this information, Tim. 

As a community - individuals, nonprofits, county/city agencies - we continue to show our truest selves in our lack of financial support of an entity that has provided so much to so many, as Right 2 Dream/Right 2 Survive has through its efforts over the past nine years. 

It is shameful that the Right 2 Dream community has never been appropriately compensated nor have the individuals who are performing the labor to create a space for folks to sleep. Aren't the unhoused community members performing that physical and emotional labor at R2D deserving of livable wages? I sure think they are. 

Lisa Hawash, MSW
Associate Professor of Practice
MSW Online Option Coordinator  
PSU School of Social Work
1800 SW 6th Avenue, #600
Portland, Oregon 97207

On Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 11:18 AM Tim McCormick <tmccormick@...> wrote:

To: PDXshelterforum list

Bcc: Denis Theriault, Raven Drake, Victory LaFara, Village Coalition (responses, comments, clarifications, corrections, welcome).

Last week there was a feature article in the Portland Tribune discussing Right to Dream Too (R2DToo)'s ongoing struggle to get operating funds for its resident-managed, independent, refuge and safe rest area. The nine-year-old R2DToo operates on a 'pittance' $2500/month budget, according to the article, and in non-Covid-19 times hosts around 100 or more people per day. In November its application for funding was denied by the city/county Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS). 

[photo: Mack McKenzie outside his tiny home at R2DToo. PMG Photo: Jonathan House].

By contrast to Right To Dream Too's bare-bones operating budget, JOHS has been funding $175,000/month for three Covid-19 emergency shelters known as Creating Conscious Communities with People Outside, or C3PO, which are managed by nonprofit JOIN, and have a capacity for about 100 people total. Raven Drake, the Medical Coordinator for the C3PO camps and former Street Roots vendor, spoke about the design and management of them at our June 25 online forum event (see event video: starting at 31:45). 

The apparent main reason for the huge difference in operating costs between R2DToo and the C3PO camps is that most duties at C3POs are performed as paid work, much of it by camp residents themselves. Presumably, this has been a very welcome financial boost to them. However, as Raven noted in the June 25 forum, this is a quite unusual and costly model for a village.

The cost level of C3PO camps seems to be a main factor driving JOHS and JOIN towards imminent termination of their support for the camps, earlier than the planned end date of Covid-19 Emergency Declaration. In a July 21 memo entitled "C3PO Exit Strategy Planning" from JOHS Director Marc Jolin, a goal is set to "Identify site(s) for transferring C3PO campers (no later than end of August 2020)." JOIN, the non-profit managing the sites under a little-compensated "fiscal sponsor" arrangement, has also communicated its intent to end involvement, on a similar schedule. 

The article quotes PDX Shelter Forum co-organizer Adam Lyons, executive director of Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, who wrote the funding qualification application (RFPQ) for R2DToo. 

Please also Right 2 Dream Too's own web site and its most recent article discussing their situation, "Love in the Time of Coronavirus", from March 14, 2020. 

Tim McCormick
Co-organizer of PDX Shelter Forum, Editor at HousingWiki, Organizer at Village Collaborative
Portland, Oregon 

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