Right 2 Survive

PDF reader comments:

Right 2 Survive is leading a diverse policy, advocacy and action-oriented strategy in Oregon and across the nation to address houselessness. They mobilize houseless and housed members of the community to achieve their human right to live in dignity. This organization already has a proven track record of making changes and are on track to continue. Based on their accomplishments, they’re well equipped to keep doing good work and make progress.

2601 SE 111 Ave, Ste. #1
Portland, OR  97266


Since 2009, Right 2 Survive (R2S) have led the charge in educating both houseless and housed people on their civil, human and constitutional rights. They work to bridge the gap between housed and un-housed people by clearing up misconceptions and stigmas associated with houselessness and empower houseless people to stand up for themselves when their rights are violated.


R2S was created to address growing targeting and criminalization of the unhoused community. The founders of R2S saw that people wanted to know their rights, wanted to advocate for themselves and needed to be heard. People wanted to learn how to organize, build power and understand how to oppose unjust laws.

The Issues:

The number of unhoused people in the U.S. has grown steadily in the last two decades. An estimated 2.5 to 3.5 million people now experience houselessness each year. People of color are especially hard hit, due to landlord discrimination, racist policing practices, legacies of redlining and other types of segregation, criminalization and oppression. Houseless individuals are being denied access to adequate shelter, sanitary restrooms, the ability to congregate into larger groups for safety while they sleep, safety from hate crimes and many other things that are basic human rights.

Constituency and Leadership:

R2S is a community of unhoused neighbors, and a volunteer, membership-based organization. Their leadership has direct, lived experience with houselessness. R2S’s board is required to volunteer for two years before being eligible to sit on the board. The organization encompass all economic classes, LGBTQ identities, ages, genders, races and cultures. Their community has youth and elders of various abilities/disabilities and education and employment backgrounds. The R2S community also has criminal backgrounds ranging from misdemeanors to felonies that keep them from obtaining housing. People with health and substance use challenges are also members.

Tackling Oppressive Structures:

R2S’s work is well representative of the houseless, people of color and low-income communities where discriminations and oppression come from years of a toxic, systemic culture. R2S holds community conversations, greets people where they are, rallies and attends public meetings to breakdown the “good ‘ol boys” networks. R2S is working to organize the people most impacted by houslessness so that they can come together to combat and disrupt tyranny.

Movement Building:

A large number of groups are working with R2S on the Compassionate Change District and neighborhood programs building power within the movement. R2S is working to hold polluters accountable with the Community Benefits Agreement. They are advocating for jobs, clean rivers, housing and education as part of their demands for the most impacted communities. Working with a broad range of organizations, R2S is dedicated to changing the environmental health, social and political climate and culture of Portland.


R2S determines success by the number of people reached. R2S holds debriefs throughout each stage of their programs to identify strengths, weaknesses, lessons learned and ways to improve their next steps as the work continues.

Long-term Vision for Change:

R2S’s goal is to empower the un-sheltered, the disenfranchised, people of color and those who are being treated like criminals because of their poverty. Their vision is to use the legal process to obtain use of public lands, under-utilized private spaces and resources for the purpose of getting people off the streets; and address abuses of police and vigilantes as they traumatize the houseless and poor. One project R2S has is centered around houseless-run “rest areas” or “tiny house villages.” These spaces are well organized, and provide pathways for people to live together in community, stabilize, find employment or attend school.

Organization Budget:  $119,500
Request: $10,000

raised to date this week:  $4,045

You can support R2S by clicking on the Donate button below: