Posts Tagged ‘community’

The Oregon Vagabond August 2011, Volume 2 – Issue 8

Monday, August 1st, 2011

 

August’s issue is hot off the press! In the August 2011 issue of The Oregon Vagabond, we have published stories by 15 local writers, who attend our writing workshops Tuesday afternoons at Washington-Jefferson Park under the bridge. Photography in this issue is by L.E. Erickson and James Beason (Lane Community College journalism intern).

Welcome to our newest advertisers: Bijou Art Cinemas, Organically Grown Company and The City of Eugene Equity and Human Rights Center. Our Contributors Club membership continues to grow – thank you to those who joined this past month! A special thank you to the Human Rights Commission for awarding us a grant and endorsing our work with the homeless community and McKenzie Mist for the gift of water to hydrate those experiencing homelessness.

The Oregon Vagabond is distributed by our homeless vendors on the streets of Eugene by the Farmers Market and Saturday Market. Other downtown locations include near The Kiva grocery store, across the street from Cafe Zenon and the U of O campus.

Thank you to the City of Eugene Human Rights Commission

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Each fiscal year, the City of Eugene allocates a small amount of public money to the Human Rights Commission, which goes toward community event funding requests. The Oregon Vagabond is pleased to announce that on June 21, 2011 the City of Eugene Human Rights Commission (HRC) endorsed our Vagabond Basketball Tuesdays, Writing Workshop and Support Group. The HRC also approved our request for funding; we were granted $100 (maximum) to spend on these activities. Recipients of Human Rights Commission funding have met the approval guidelines and aligns with their mission – “The City of Eugene values the dignity of all human beings. We are committed to:

  • Ensuring that human rights are a central part of every City program;
  • Respecting and reflecting cultural and individual diversity;
  • Fostering mutual understanding; and
  • Promoting inclusiveness, justice and equity.”

For more information, visit the City of Eugene Equity and Human Rights Center‘s website.

The Oregon Vagabond is very thankful for and encouraged by receiving the support of the City of Eugene Human Rights Commission.

So While You’re Traveling

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

When you get off the road and enter Eugene, you will notice a few things. One, downtown, two, all the parks, and three, the river. But mainly what you’ll hear about is the Whitaker. All of these places are all what nakes up Eugene. At times there are social settings that haven’t reached the same culture as everyone else in the US.

What occurs in this town while you’re homeless is mainly up to you. All of the mentioned spots are good and a couple bad. Don’t be drawn into downtown’s everyday drama; it has been blown up beyond all proportion. The parks are cool for short periods of time.

Now at the river, you can swim, laugh, enjoy your personal beverages and just have fun. It also can be a relaxing place to tan or meditate.

All these things can keep you sane in this town while you’re here.

The Whitaker is unexplainable, just treat “the Whit” right and it will do the same for you. And remember, friends, winter is coming, so prepare. Everyone is in this together, survive as friends and we will all make it through anything. Fight and we’ll perish. That’s exactly what the Eugene police want, what the taxpayers and all the other officials in this town push for: NO HOMELESS.

So remember while you’re here, the citizens are not just the community, the homeless are as well.

Go Ducks!!

 

By Thomas Templeton

 

We’re All One

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

I’m watching from afar as David and his homeless friend Jason play basketball under the bridge. One of the first things Jason says as he approaches me after their game is “we are all connected… we’re all one.” Looking me in the eyes with his arms held out wide, he steps close and gives me a long hug. He goes on to quote a passage from Psalms, talks to me about the angels that surround and protect us, along with a demonstration on how to protect myself should I ever be attacked by an unsavory character. More hugs follow.

It’s no coincidence that I meet Jason for the first time the day after I saw the documentary “I AM“. The whole point and purpose of the film is to acknowledge and celebrate the mysterious and profound interconnectedness we have with one another and all things. Not only is it a spiritual phenomenon, but this truth is being validated over and over again by scientific research throughout the world. It is in our DNA to be sympathetic, compassionate… we are born to be our brother’s keeper.

Often as I walk the streets of the city, talking with, hugging, helping out and photographing strangers (some are members of our homeless community), Hebrews 13:2 comes to mind – “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Perhaps I have. I am discovering that we all have far more in common than not, and those with little more than the clothes on their back bless me more than words can say simply by being themselves and sharing even a brief moment of their lives with me. Thank you, Jason.

David McArthur writes in his book ‘The Intelligent Heart’ – “Love does not only transform our mental/emotional nature, it also involves the physical system of our body which goes through profound changes as well.” As we give up our self-awareness to become more aware of the greatness and beauty that lies within others, not judging by outward appearances so that we might know and love them with our heart, we begin to experience life and relationships with one another on a deeper and much healthier level of interconnectedness, wholeness and wellness. This is where the kind of change we wish to see in ourselves and the world happens.

Jesus wasn’t found among the most beautiful and affluent, rather he was ridiculed for befriending and loving those who are known as “untouchables” in some cultures. Jesus led by example, showing us how to love and give generously and unconditionally. Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Like the message of the movie “I AM“, it turns out that it is our intuitive heart’s intelligence that guides us and not our cerebral brain. It is knowing, responding, loving and giving from our hearts that makes our community and world a better, safer place to live… one decision, one random act of kindness, one person at a time… starting with me and you.

by L.E. Erickson

“At the heart of each of us, whatever our imperfections, there exists a silent pulse of perfect rhythm, which is absolutely individual and unique, and yet which connects us to everything else.” ~ George Leonard (1923-2010); American writer

What This Newspaper Means to Me

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Regarding my life today working for The Oregon Vagabond, I can say this much – the stories we choose to write for the community are written from the heart, and we don’t mind sharing our personal stories. When I chose to live on the streets, I started out doing a lot of things which today I am not proud of. I started getting into a great deal of trouble with the law. It was getting harder and my luck was running out. Then I was introduced to the homeless newspaper (Street Roots) in Portland. I had been trying many different ways to make a living. One day I went to the office, applied for the job, and got myself a stack of newspapers. Then I had to pick an area where I would stand and hold up a few newspapers for sale. When people purchase the homeless paper, vendors keep all the profits, and buy more newspapers at the print-cost. Now I’m calling Eugene home, and I work for the Vagabond. So please keep supporting our newspaper, the vendors need these jobs and I hope you enjoy reading it.

by Taz