Immediately after returning from touring around Europe this past summer I decided to move from California to Portland, Oregon. Being that I create and install my artworks in the streets I am constantly searching and observing street situations to build with and incorporate into my artworks. What I noticed upon my arrival to Portland less than 3-months ago was the abnormally large amount of homeless people sleeping on sidewalks, and under the bridges. It’s impossible to not notice the overwhelming homeless population here in Portland, Oregon. Oregon has the highest proportion of homeless people in the nation, according to a new report on homelessness issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As if this was not enough the un-employment in the state of Oregon is at 11.5% and ranks 4th worse in the United States. I wanted to address and draw more attention to the homeless crisis here in Portland (and across the nation in general). I wanted to learn more about this homeless epidemic by listening directly to the homeless community on an individual person to person level. During the month of November I rode my bike around Portland wanting to listen to homeless individuals that wanted to share their story and suggestions on what shelters really help out with services as well as where I should donate the money fund raised from this print. The majority of the homeless individuals I listened to spoke very highly about "T.P.I" (TRANSITION PROJECTS) tprojects.org and how T.P.I. helps them with shelter, hygienic supplies, clothes and supportive programs to help them transition off the streets.
After last years positively large response to the "GIVING TO THE POOR" print where 100% of all those profits were donated to 2 selected homeless shelters I wanted to again get involved this year with the homeless community and address the serious issues of homelessness and more specific the homeless situation in Portland, Oregon. I learned a lot of information during the 5-weeks I rode my bike around Portland listening to different homeless individuals stories. I also talked with the administrators of different homeless shelters to understand their perspectives on homelessness, what they provide, and how they help transition homeless individuals off the streets. Being homeless takes on many different forms regardless to age, race, or education. Often times, but not always many homeless individuals haven’t or don’t have the basic life skills or resources to transition off the streets. It’s with shelters like TRANSITION PROJECTS who offer recovery programs, life skills classes and most of all compassion and a non-judgmental attitude that helps those living on the streets learn the life tools to help them make a permanent transition off the streets.
After taking photos of the homeless individuals that allowed me, I chose to print the image of "POET" and his very clever/humorous sign. Ask any comedian and they will tell you that using humor can make you laugh and temporarily take the edge off a very serious issue or topic. This is not to say that this print is suppose to be funny or a joke because homelessness is a serious fucking issue and it’s no laughing matter!! My goal with the "homeless, not hopeless" print is for you to hang it in your home as a constant reminder that there are those sleeping in the street every night that are less fortunate and call the street their home. I want it to remind you to be grateful for what you have and to also give help, assistance, and compassion to others lacking basic needs for living.
The majority of the homeless individuals I listened to spoke very highly about "T.P.I" (TRANSITION PROJECTS) (tprojects.org) their services, and recovery programs. I will be donating 100% of all the profits from the "homeless, not hopeless" print to the Transition projects shelter and recovery center. *I highly suggest you visit Transition Projects website to learn more about their services and standing role in the Portland community. If you can’t afford a print or if it is already sold out then please feel free to donate a financial contribution directly through T.P.I’s website or to a homeless shelter in your own community! Homelessness is a global issue so please get involved in your own community and help support with donations and compassion. A little help from everyone adds up to makes a big difference!! Thank you."
Purchase non-profit print at: goabove.com
Check interviews and more photos at: goabove.com/Homelessnothopeless.html