December 15, 2009

All year long, but especially during the holiday season, I think it is important to reflect on our own good fortune and look out for those who are less fortunate. My friend, street artist ABOVE, has been working on a project called “HOMELESS, NOT HOPELESS”. Read more about it below. I also have created art and made donations to a food bank called FEEDING AMERICA. 97% of their contributions are used directly for food for the needy. Check them out at feedingamerica.org
Thanks for caring.




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)
http://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

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) (http://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.” -Above.