<– Donate through PayPal using the button to the left.
Please select, “Care Kits for Unhoused Neighbors.”
We will use the money to buy supplies to give directly to people in need. This is a tax-deductible donation: please let us know if you need a receipt!
Portland Disability Justice Collective, a project of The Uprise Collective, is sponsoring a Portland #GivingTuesday campaign this year to make care kits for houseless BIPOC, disabled folks, and DVSA survivors who are navigating multiple forms of oppressions while being forced to live outside. Please support us by donating above, or read on to find out why this campaign is so important…
#GIVINGTUESDAY is a global day when everyday people do acts of generosity in our communities. It is an opportunity for people around the world to stand together in unity—to use our individual power of generosity to remain connected and heal. This year, GivingTuesday falls on December 1st. This is Portland’s first community campaign and we are focusing on making care kits for houseless Black, Indigenous, and multiracial folks, and people of color (BIPOC), people with disabilities, and domestic violence and sexual assault survivors who are navigating being houseless while experiencing multiple oppressions.
In 2012, Rebel became houseless because they ran out of savings while looking for work. They volunteered during the day and did college coursework on Starbucks’ free wifi at night. They slept in the trunk of their car because there’s so much stigma and danger in being houseless. During this time, they were attacked and had their belongings stolen from their car. Generous strangers online gave money for gas and car insurance to stay safer from police harassment. Friends met through volunteering, occasionally let Rebel shower or spend the night inside. Once Rebel found a part-time job, it was still several months before they could afford rent and a deposit. Eventually, Rebel got a place to live, wonderful roommates, SSDI, and married someone with the financial resources to support them. Everything has changed: they’re safe now. Rebel is still disabled and lives with PTSD, but they are working toward their Master of Science in counseling in order to support other trauma survivors like them.
In 2019, Rebel founded the Portland Disability Justice Collective, a project of The UPRISE Collective. UPRISE is a small Portland nonprofit whose mission is to “open spaces and provide support for people with targeted identities to engage in social uplift within their own communities.” GivingTuesdayPDX is a collaboration between the Disability Justice Collective and UPRISE’s “Feed Our People” project, which gives care kits and hygiene supplies to womxn and femmes who are doing the unending work of surviving and bringing our communities closer together. Providing care kits for houseless neighbors is the natural next step.
Rebel when they were houseless in 2012
Image Description: A white-appearing multiracial femme with black curly hair and a black skirt, shirt, and leather jacket smiles at the camera. They are using a purple cuff crutch to stand.
Rebel was one of the lucky ones. They are multiracial, disabled, trangender, and a domestic violence/sexual assault survivor, but can pass as someone who’s not. That made people more likely to be kind to them, because people often divide houseless folks into the worthy and unworthy poor. They had a car to sleep in, which kept them dry and more protected than someone sleeping outside. They didn’t get caught up in street sweeps, where people’s homes, medications, and belongings are stolen by a government that wants suffering people “out of sight, out of mind.” Since they had access to showers and laundry sometimes, and were conventionally attractive, stores didn’t hassle them for hanging out to charge their phone or do homework.
2 in every 100 people are houseless in our city, totalling 14,000 individuals and families with children in Portland.
- People become houseless for so many reasons: because they lost their jobs, can’t afford rising rental costs, are fleeing domestic violence with no resources, or struggle with mental illness or physical disability.
- Everyone who is houseless was once housed. We each experienced the frightening shock of having to live outside, followed by the daily degradation of being treated as an eyesore rather than as real people with our own stories to tell.
- We all deserve to have our basic needs met, a safe place to be, and dignity.
- Generosity helps us feel human and can be transformative.