The Dignity Village encampment in Northeast Portland has long been an unusual development, and it may become even more unusual - one of the most provocative places associated with the homeless anywhere in the country.
Five years and 11 days ago a group of homeless people set up camp at the location, called Camp Dignity at first, later Dignity Village. (The photos here are from the portland ground website.)
The group's website (!) leads with a credo: "We came out of the doorways of Portland's streets, out from under the bridges, from under the bushes of public parks, we came openly with nothing and no longer a need to hide as Portland's inhumane and Draconian camping ban had just been overturned on two constitutional grounds. We came armed with a vision of a better future for ourselves and for all of Portland, a vision of a green, sustainable urban village where we can live in peace and improve not only the condition of our own lives but the quality of life in Portland in general. We came in from the cold of a December day and we refuse to go back to the way things were."
To be homeless may often be equated with being helpless. But not in this case. (more…)