Thursday, November 6, 2014

[draft] One Swell FOOP: A scheme for converting warehouses into free living space

There's a nonprofit organization called Friends of Occupy Portland (FOOP), which rents the "Occupy office" at St. Francis. So, what if FOOP were also to rent warehouses and/or other buildings where people could live and sleep?

At this moment, thousands of people in our city are without a room of their own, a condition that carries with it obvious difficulties: difficulty staying warm, dry, and rested; lack of privacy; lack of a place to store material objects.

There seem to be several, maybe dozens of, vacant warehouses in Portland at any given time, along with many other vacant habitable buildings. We might ask, what has kept them from being converted into living space?

In some ways, this solution has probably been mitigated against by

Most of the seven billion of us

Such a question could lead to a discussion of some basic assumptions of society:

addressing objections can come nth

0, tanstaafl, tina, nimby
1, difficulty, uncertainty
2, shelters are available
3, zoning


With FOOP we have an entity in whose name the property could be put, potentially allowing space to be made available for occupancy without giving legal control/ownership to anyone but an entity explicitly dedicated to assisting the Occupy movement.

We can spread this idea with the hope that it may reach someone with extra cash, or an extra warehouse, who's sympathetic to the cause and eager to help get some people into a friendly, free, warm, dry, safe space. There are lots of unhoused people who could get immediate, substantial relief from this, not to mention the wider ramifications - it would be great to make it happen before we get very deep into the winter.