the costs of our work

We do what we do here, because we love and care about people. We saw several needs while we ourselves were #Homeless, and we chose to help those around us, as best we could. The first step was to find out what those needs were, and figure out why those needs weren’t being met for others, or ourselves. The second step was to care more, and share resources of food and clothing… immediate, life saving, needs.

But the biggest challenge was how to let those not walking in our shoes, that what they thought (what we used to think) about the homeless, was mostly fiction. We are Not the cliche lazy, bums, drunks and crazy, although that does apply to a small percentage of our people group. 

With that said, I (gnat) started a journal on this topic, that became a blog in a now defunct social media platform, so as we learned more, and social media changed, and we connected to like minded people through the Occupy Wall Street era, Occupy Homeless started a page on Facebook.

Since that time, we’ve added a few admins to our team, have gained friends and allies planet wide, some of them offer ideas and content, as well as information to help us grow and learn about the many aspects of poverty and homelessness. — this has become a̶ ̶f̶u̶l̶l̶ ̶t̶i̶m̶e̶ ̶j̶o̶b̶ an all day and much of each night, job. 7 days a week…

Just two of us have burned up 5 laptops and a couple of cell phones – this laptop was donated as a dead one, that we repaired ourselves and It Is OLD!, but runs well enough to get by. – – you see where this is going, right?

Next up – Facebook limits our audience, in order to be seen, they demand $$ that we simply do not have. And then there is this website, i am not a webmaster, but that is required because, no one else is Offering to build it, and guess what? Websites cost more than just a lot of time, they cost money… that we don’t have. Remember, we are poor, mostly homeless, now living in an overpriced rental that you can see daylight through some of the walls and floors, and has glass missing in a few windows (we are fixing those things, same reasons, no one else is fixing these things)

Cost of just owning www.OccupyHomeless.com is: (most of our groceries for this month, seriously. But don’t worry, we’ve let some folks know and they are bringing food)(and firewood for heat)

Sadly we are not a501(c)(3) tax-exempt – but would if we had more time, the know how and the $$ to make that happen. — if you’ve made it this far, we love you!, and we want to make it clear, we know that most of our audience is just as bloody poor as we are (God, I Hope NOT) and some are worse off than ourselves 🙁 so here’s a short list of ways to ‘help’,

  • if you’re local, come over and help around this small shack, you may get a meal, veggies from the little garden, or fresh eggs, in exchange for your labor! Yay! (if you have no home, we have a tent for you while you’re here)
  • Purchase the song “Tom and Jackie” – It’s Cheap at $1.00 and we’ll get about $0.85 in a few days. — yeah, it’s a sad song, but it’s about love too.
  • There is a link HERE to our PayPal – literally any amount is more than helpful!
  • Writing content for this website or facebook, is strongly encouraged.
  • Join our the OccupyHomeless Facebook group and discuss goals, plans, ideas and the weather?
  • Soon we will be asking for broken laptops, cell phones and tablets. We have a helper that’s rebuilding those and giving them to homeless that are in need. Yes, that’s a real need for them too.
  • Are You Still reading? Oh My, We Really LOVE You! You are The Best Ever!
  • Sigh, we don’t get onto the streets as much as we used to do because of the things that we’re doing for this page, and because we had to get off the streets or die on them (elderly disabled…) — so, do us a favor, today, go out of your way to meet a homeless person. Once you locate someone that you’re comfortable with, make that person your friend. Sorry, this might not be easy or comfortable at first, but we promise, it’s the most rewarding thing that all of our staff has ever done. Just be there. Let those people know that you care about them as a fellow human. Everything else will take care of itself.
  • Along the same lines – if you can feed them, do so. If you can afford some socks, give them socks. But it’s easier to merely ask what their needs are, most likely those needs will be humble and simple.
  • Oh Yeah, did i mention that we Really Want a Webmaster??? This website is a mess!
  • this list is incomplete – thank you and we’ll talk again soon ~ gnat / aka, tom g

Baby found on the street with homeless mother ‘never took breath,’ medical examiner says

UPDATE on the Frozen Baby in Portland, Oregon!

[a few quotes from the article – with our thoughts in brackets]

“The state medical examiner confirmed Tuesday that a baby boy found with his homeless mother on Portland’s streets last week died in a stillborn birth and not of exposure to freezing temperatures.”

“Officers responded to a call about 6 a.m. Jan. 9 and found a woman near Southeast 91st Avenue and Powell Boulevard with a newborn, Police Chief Mike Marshman said.”

“This has been an unprecedented year for exposure deaths in Portland – three men and one woman have died since Jan 1…”

“Multnomah County doesn’t keep statistics on homeless pregnancies or babies born on the street. Eighty-eight people died on the street in 2015 Multnomah County overall, mostly from either drugs and alcohol or diseases.” [note: they added drugs/alcohol, but wont clarify percentages – they imply the worse, down play the other – it’s a known reporters/editors trick]

“The cause of a stillbirth could be tied to many things: the mother’s lack of prenatal care and lifestyle living on the streets, Gunson said. The mother, who police said suffers from mental illness, hasn’t been able to share much information about what occurred. [again, they say “Lifestyle” as if being poor, mentally ill and homeless is some sort of choice the poor woman and now dead child planned to embark upon]

[this part is common and sad, they’re going to cause doubt to distract us from finding fault with a system that habitually fails the most desperate of us] “People on the scene when the baby was first discovered described the baby as very cold but breathing, according to police reports cited by Willamette Week, which first reported the boy’s death. Two doctors at OHSU who worked on the baby disputed the stillbirth finding, the publication said.

OHSU declined comment, citing patient confidentiality, and police haven’t responded to a request for the records from The Oregonian/OregonLive for their reports.”

— according to this article, they aren’t pressing charges against this poor mother, but we’ve read other articles that said the opposite. This article and news source was given to us by homeless advocates and street people in the area. We’re still attempting to speak with someone that knew this woman personally. We Will Keep You updated, if you’re interested. ~ gnat

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/01/baby_found_on_the_street_with.html#incart_river_home

Dr. Karen Gunson, who conducted the autopsy of the boy a week ago, said she found no air in the baby’s lungs or in his stomach when she did an X-ray on the infant and determined he was stillborn.

Source: Baby found on the street with homeless mother ‘never took breath,’ medical examiner says

Poverty is not an accident

This concentration of wealth and income means that while a small fraction of households are flourishing, too many Americans of all backgrounds lack basics: stable and affordable housing, access to good jobs, proximity to public transportation, and affordable health insurance and child care.  Too many don’t live near good schools or have access to an affordable college education.For every American who’s living paycheck to paycheck these are significant obstacles.

Source: Daily Kos

a little about ‘gnat’ and #homeless people…

Hello Kind Friends of this page and our visitors, it’s been a very long time since i (gnat, the little bug that thinks he knows a few things about #homelessness – he also started this project) have spoken about myself, our admins or homeless people, so i’m going to do a little of that before sharing an article that i’ve just read that concerns the economy, and more specifically, taxes and rich folks.

Yes, a “Homeless Bum” just read a professional article that deals with social issues, finances, and those not so generous people that are on the opposite end of the financial spectrum. Yepper, just used terms like “financial spectrum”, in a reasonably well structured sentence, that included only one (1) so-called misspelled words. My point?

Well that’s easy enough – most of us walk around thinking things about other people groups that we’re not familiar with, because of things that we’ve been told. Yup, someone SAID this about homeless people, and WE believe what’s been said as truth. Please don’t take this personally against You, Yourself… although we should, BUT it would be hypocritical of me to do so, because… I used to think a lot of $h*t about ‘the homeless’ too, and then i became a part of that group.

Decades later and I’m still asking, “How Could THIS Ever Happen To Me!!!???” — short answer — I’m not special, or un-special, nor unlucky or or or or freaking OR, This or That! WE The #Homeless are as diverse as OUR Culture, our society, Your family and friends and your neighborhood – ‘we’ are ‘us’!

Oh there was a time that I said things that I had heard others say, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”, and meant it in a kind way too. Then I walked some miles in these shoes and now believe ‘here for the lack of grace and caring from other humans, go i.’

In closing, we the homeless are in need of your help. Don’t allow others to dictate how You will help one of us. Yup, one of us. That’s all that I’m asking. You see, by speaking on these pages, A Precious few people stepped up to help just me and mine. It is those actions that keep me hopeful enough to continue to struggle for life, not to sit and slowly die in despair and rejection.

Here’s that article that I mumbled about somewhere up^ there.

Peace and stuff, Gnat / tom, lead project coordinator (hahaha) at occupy homeless dot com

How Tax Havens Make Us Poor

Changes

The people that operate Occupy Homeless believe that by supporting each other and working as community, we can bring about positive change for all. It is in the giving of time and lifting people up that we make a difference. We are glad that You wish to assist us in these efforts.

Hello Folks, we’ve changed a few things with our website and services – that means that the old site and all of the work there is gone and this page is going to be a small mess for a while.

Luckily, we do have some backups of stories and images here and on our Facebook page and we’ll get those things back in place soon!

To those of you that wish to contribute to this cause (by us a sandwich, coffee… help offset the costs of this site!, we’ll have those donation button up again soon. But if you just can’t wait to donate, send this page or our facebook page a message and we’ll supply our Paypal and/or other information as needed!

Again, Thanks a Very Lot for all of the encouraging words, likes, shares, well wishes, prayers and everything else! <3’s

~ gnat