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In the upper part of North Portland nessled between a Dept. of Corrections prison facility and the PDX Airport lies a homeless commune known as Dignity Village. Several years ago upon discovering that the City of Portland had expressly written into its charter the allowance of not one but TWO land trusts for homeless settlements, and realizing that they currently had ZERO, several homeless decided to organize.
What resulted was a struggle between the homeless, Mayor Potter, and City Council to provide these folks with a respectable piece of land. Unfortunately what they were given was a few acres on Dept. of Transportation property that was used for compost. While Mayor Potter praises his administration for helping to create Dignity Village, the residents of DV aren't satisfied with this contaminated site and vigorously continue to work towards relocating.
There are currently 60 residents of Dignity Village, which has set up its own Board and legislative government to maintain peace and order in the community. There are two qualifications to become a resident - 1. you must be 18 years or older, and 2. you must be homeless. Dignity Village is working tirelessly to build new partnerships throughout the city to help with services, financial donations, and political influence.
This last photo is their new community center under construction.
For more information or to donate you can visit their website at www.dignityvillage.org.
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Bushwick 77: The Casusos of Harman St.
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