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homelessness | katrina aftermath | social services

Portland to take 1,000 New Orleans survivors

Instead of sheltering them in 3 close-by, modern convention centers, work is mounting to restore closed school(s)
It is admirable Portland will take 1,000 survivors from New Orleans. Work is underway to reopen Washington School on SE Stark which can hold 500 people, and they're looking for another closed school to shelter the other 500.

I suggested days ago that the Memorial Coliseum, Rose Garden and Convention Centers seem ideal places to put the people. They wouldn't have to restore them to operational order! Why are these sites discounted? Could it be they would have to cancel paying events? What is the priority here?
Thanks. I'm glad to 04.Sep.2005 00:07

.

hear that Portland is helping in some way. Is there a site that talks more about this? People also might consider fostering animals who survived the storm and flooding, it looks like there may be a need for that. People may not be able to take the pets who survived until their lives get back together. See www.hsus.org

Elephants can be housed at the Rose Arena 04.Sep.2005 00:08

gk

Well, folks, Ringling Bros. circus can stay at the Rose Garden. They cage the beautiful animals (elephants) and make them perform by threats of switches. Yet the New Orleans survivors must go to an old, closed school. Looks like some unjustness in the City of Portland.

Red Cross/Salvation Army internment camps 04.Sep.2005 00:20

Impeach Bush NOW!

On KOIN tv news, the Salvation Army's head of this effort in Portland stressed that no volunteers will be accepted to help the refugees for several weeks (Jesse Jackson obtusely calls "refugee" a racist term, insisting they are "American citizens" but he is just up to his usual assignment of stirring up divisions between blacks and other oppressed minorities the establishment is afraid might join in solidarity with blacks).

She also said the evacuees did not know they were coming to Portland. The show then showed a graphic listing six cities that will be accepting refugees - Portland, Minneapolis and four other cities where black populations are small and black political and electoral power are negligible. She said they would be shifted into "transitional housing" -- well, if that means long-term homeless shelter programs with vocational training and social service advocacy etc then I doubt Portland has the capacity to take on an additional 1000 unless those huge donations to the Red Cross are going to end up making them the monopoly force among homeless services organizations in Portland. She said cash was the only way anyone could help right now -- well of course, since when did big national social service organizations ever want anything but enough cash to beat out competing agencies? The Red Cross / Salvation Army -ization of social services through giant government contracts is every bit as troubling as the Wal-Martization, Bordersization and Starbuck-ization of food, household goods, books and beverages.

So here are some questions: will the refugees be permitted to walk away from the converted school, or will they be locked in like in the Superdome and on the buses leaving the Superdome? Will they have access to legal representation against the government contracted private organizations they are being "rescued" by if they are dissatisfied with their treatment there? Will they be forced to undergo drug tests, vaccinations with thymerisol, or psychoactive drug treatments as a condition of being "rescued"? Will they be quarantined?

.. 04.Sep.2005 00:40

Lucid Apparition

While I'm glad these 1,000 New Orleans refugees have a place to go. Why are these schools being opened for housing now? Why couldn't homeless Portlanders stay there? Would the city fight us if we tried to open abandoned govt. buildings to be used as squats?
Everyone is talking about the poor getting left behind in New Orleans. What about right here in Portland.

That's a good point, Lucid. 04.Sep.2005 00:56

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Why hadn't these buildings been opened up for the cold, hungry, and homeless living here? But I'm glad to hear that at least some of these people will be helped here.

Also, the American Red Cross performs animal testing. For example:

 http://www.pcrm.org/resch/charities/questionable.html

"More recently, the Red Cross performed some shockingly gruesome experiments on pigs and goats to test a new bandage technology. Extensive and severe liver injuries,7, 8 kidney injuries,9-10 and artery damage 11, 12 were inflicted on live pigs, and live goats were given shock-inducing ballistic injuries.13 There were at least 12 different experiments published in papers dating from 1995 to 2003, as well as eight unpublished experiments. All came to similar conclusions: The new bandage technology works better than the old one."

I can't support them.

You can take in survivors yourself. 04.Sep.2005 02:48

if you care

Apparently all over the country via moveon.org and new orleans craig's list, people are taking in people they can house. In time for people to get into school, so they can get food stamps, etc...

So if you have a spare "guest" room... you might want to consider this option of direct assistance as well.. or if there are evacuees that make it here, maybe you'd help at the temporary shelter, get to know a couple folks, and invite them home?

Convert Wapato Jail to a Temporary Dorm? 04.Sep.2005 05:30

bill

Multnomah County's new 50 million dollar jail sits empty, a monument to a failed Sheriff's department empire building scheme.

The jail has all the infrastructure necessary for temporary housing. including a cafeteria, medical clinic, "dorms". All that would be required is to remove the bars and throw open the doors. Local church and community service groups could take it over and staff it.

Warehousing is abusive 04.Sep.2005 11:47

Patricia Annis ace_photog@hotmail.com

The best reason to not place 1,000-plus survivors of Hurricane Katrina in big stadiums together has been played out for us on major media since the day one! (1) lining people up in rows like cattle, all types, violent and nonviolent, clean and dirty, couth and uncouth, in cots with no privacy, no safety, no storage, no way to leave your cot and backpack of precious items such as a birth certificate long enough to go stnad in line for the meals or go to the bathroom without possbility of it getting taken behind your back. There is no dignity or respect or normalcy in warehousing people.
>(2) Disease. Mass outbreaks that spread quickly. They had to close a shelter center already in Mississippi due to an outbreak of more than 50 cases of dysentery, vomiting and diarrhea, had to transport more than 20 to hospitals for treatment and diagnosis. They dont know the source but can only suspect it came from ingesting the filthy contaminated water these folks drank out of the tap at the shelter, though warned not to.
>(3) As much as possible, displaced people need small dwelling spaces such as apartments or a room in someone's home, or a home of their own - no matter how small and humble, as soon as possible. Normalcy. Where they can store, refrigerate, cook food, shower or bathe when needed, make phone calls and receive phone calls without hours of waiting, without massive caos, noise and lack of privacy in their faces, without stringent rules and policies hampering their own decision-making ability and basic human rights. This is the first step in helping them put their lives back together.
>Hopefully, the many agencies and individuals reaching out to help the hurricane survivors will bear in mind that these people, as many as possible, will want to return home, not relocate thousands of miles away into an alien culture. These are Gulf area lifelong residents, with a very special culture, geography, way of life and it's the life they know and love. That culture and that Gulf area industry is vital to the health of our nation, and the economy far and wide. Our entire focus in contributing and volunteering ought to be to do everything possible to help them live in temporary settings with us while doing all we can to help them rebuild their homes and communities and return to them. Most of them want to have a direct hand in doing that rebuilding, too, like the people who build their homes through Habitat for Humanity. With that in mind, here is my recommendation for your donations and sweat equity: give your money and/or time to a nationwide nonprofit known as REBUILDING TOGETHER, formerly Christmas In April. They take no government money, they depend upon private donations and volunteers and rehabilitate neglected homes of the poor, disabled, and elderly in every state. My family (my 80-yr old mom) benefited from them some years ago in southeast Portland with a new roof (value about $7,000), all new windows and framing (value a few more thousands), at no cost to her - free to my mom.

Battleground, Washington

Not All Generous folks are cash cows 04.Sep.2005 11:56

Patricia Annis ace_photog@hotmail.com

I agree with the comments criticizing the emphasis in the media for people to open their pocketbooks and wallets to these megacorporate "nonprofits" uch as Salvation Army and the Red Cross. We are being discouraged from donating what we can, which very often is goods and services, but not money. There is a mandate in the Jewish religion that everyone must give, the poor must give to the poorest. Whatever we have, our own volunteer hours, goods we have or can access, phone calling to round up other donations, whatever our talents, that's at least as valuable as cash.

Battleground, Washington

AMURT 95% volunteer disaster relief organization 06.Sep.2005 08:24

Bharati

If you are looking into donating for Katrina victums look at donating to AMURT. They are a very reputible organization that is 99% volunteer!!!!!!
That means all the money goes straight to victums and NOT into the pockets of leaders of organizations such as the RED CROSS. AMURT has been working around the for many years and they are doing some really great work!!! It's not up to me to convice you, see for yourself and decide. Just make sure you donate to an organization that gets the money to where it really needs to go.Check out:  http://www.amurt.net
Also opening your homes to people is a great way for us to bridge some gaps and transform this horrible tradgety in to an opportunity for human unity to occur!!!

YES! I to am appauled and disapointed... 06.Sep.2005 17:53

Reverend Lee shelteringhope@yahoo.com

I was basicly told by the Red Cross and the Salvation Army that they didn't want my communities donations. That the army would make an anouncement as to what was needed. I only got a real answer after I shamed the volenteer by saying "OH... I just thought you would want to prepared BEFORE they arrived" He said "oh, you mean like they weren't down there" then I got some real answers from the man. I suggest that we be cautious with these organizations but that we not let it stop us from doing what we can do. We have a real chance to help these people come out of trauma and stand back on their own two feet. May we rise to the occation.

..Blessings to All...Please Help These People.