Dental: For Just $5,000

Here is the deal:  The next $5,000.00, raised for the mobile medical clinic will go to retrofitting the RV to provide dental services.  

This is a much needed service under the Bridge.

A few weekends ago, I got the chance to volunteer at Portland’s Compassion Clinic, an annual event that happens here, where multiple churches come together, rent out the Memorial Coliseum (where the NBA TrailBlazers used to play) and provide mental, dental and social services for hundreds of homeless, uninsured and low-income families.  Dental was by far the most popular service being offered and was booked up for the day before 9AM.

dental

While at Compassion Clinic, I got the opportunity to wash the feet of a young girl, who had come with her brother and friend to get their teeth cleaned.  Her parents couldn’t provide insurance for her and her brother, so they come to Compassion Clinic every year to get their teeth checked.  She shared how grateful she was to be one of the last few to get a spot for dental services.

We have the opportunity to provide dental services: teeth cleaning, fill cavities, pull teeth, etc.  Right under the Bridge, not only are we fixing immediate health needs, but we are boosting self-confidence.  Who doesn’t love a great smile?

Here is how you can help:

  1. Donate financially.  Help us raise $5,000 to be able to provide dental services with the mobile medical clinic.
  2. If you are a dentist (or know a dentist), please consider donating financially or volunteering your time to provide dental services under the Bridge or follow up care at your office.
  3. Donate in-kind.  At Night Strike, we hand out dozens of tooth brushes, travel size tooth pastes, and floss each and every week.  We could these items each and every week.

Mobile Medical Clinic Day #1!

 

marshall and i

Marshall and I on the roof of the RV

On Thursday, June 27, 2013, Bridgetown Inc. rolled out the very first mobile medical clinic under the Bridge at Night Strike.  Over the course of two hours, a doctor and four staff members saw 13 patients.  Everything from a pregnancy check up to infected spider bites.  It was an awesome day!  And we couldn’t have done it without

YOU!

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated, prayed, and volunteered.  Seriously, it has been such a blessing to have a wonderful group of friends, family, and complete strangers cheering us on.  And while I’m eternally grateful for all the support we’ve had over the past five months

we aren’t done yet!

I’m not even to 25% of my fundraising goal.  We still need $20,000 ($20876.94 to be exact) to make this mobile medical clinic happen on a regular basis.

We are planning on offering medical services once a month through the end of the year.  This way we can continue to gain support, fundraise, train volunteers and continue to grow to offering mobile medical clinic services every Thursday night under the Bridge.

Here are some more photos of Bridgetown’s sweet new ride:

Front of the RV

Front of the RV

Medical Team

Medical Team

Back of RV with Bullet!

Back of RV with Bullet!

 

Patient Station

Patient Station

Yeah!!

Yeah!!

 

Homeless in the News

There have been a lot of news articles lately about the homeless issue in Portland lately.

First, transient street kids hit a 70 year old man over the head with a skateboard.

Then, the question was asked it Portland’d homeless are hurting tourism?

Then another question was asked: Will $10 million dollars help the homeless?

7-17-13-homeless-portland rescue mission

(Outside the Portland Rescue Mission men’s shelter at 111 W. Burnside St. on July 17, 2013. (KOIN 6 News)

And finally, a spotlight on the homeless camp near where a bus driver was stabbed.

Now let me go on the record saying, I don’t think people should be hit over the head with skateboards nor do I think being stabbed is okay.  I’m thankful both of these people are going to survive and I do think the actions of those who hurt others is wrong and should be punished.  My issue is that it feels like three out of the four articles mentioned about this week are negative and offer no solutions to solving the “homeless” problem.  I don’t think it is a homeless problem.  I think it’s a broken relationship problem.  And the solution comes not building more housing, but fixing relationships first then finding housing.

In the first article:

“Mayor Charlie Hales’ office and the Portland Business Alliance both say the key to preventing attacks like this is solving Portland’s homelessness problem.  Hales’ spokesman Dana Haynes said they’re working with homeless advocates and law enforcement to come up with a solution.”

I’m not sure if that is the case, these were “street kids” meaning minors.  In my head this means, these kids are away from their parents, out of control and causing problems.  They wouldn’t qualify for housing since they are minors anyways.

In the second article:

But the homeless and street people aren’t keeping people like Hugh Mattox from Jacksonville, Fla.,away from Portland.  “It’s just another part of the experience,” Mattox told KOIN 6 News. “It’s definitely not a negative thing because you have so many nice things to offer here in the town.”

Granted, I don’t want to be know as the city with the highest population of homeless. But I also don’t want my friends under the Bridge to become a tourist attraction.  Instead, I would like to see those complaining about the homeless to come serve those who are marginalized in the city to really understand where they are coming from before creating more laws.  Yet again, another broken relationship.

Third:

“On a given night there are more than 2,800 people who are homeless in Multnomah County, according to the latest street count. About 1,900 of those are unsheltered and sleeping on the street. That’s a 10% increase from 2012.  The city’s $10 million is spent on rent assistance, supportive housing and outreach. But there also are services not financially supported by the government, such as the Portland Rescue Mission men’s shelter at 111 W. Burnside St.  PRM Executive Director Eric Bauer said they serve about 600 meals a day, and right now all of the mission’s beds are full.”

This is supposed to be the uplifting article.  And it still points out the glaring fact that 2,800 people in my city don’t have a place to go.  Why is that?  Read more on the causes of homelessness.  This isn’t a homeless issue, it’s an addiction, violence and mental health issue.  Tackle these issues and I believe the city will have a better chance of solving the homeless issue.

Fourth:

“You can’t take everybody that’s homeless and lump them into one category,” April Senick said. “(You shouldn’t think) ‘All homeless people are going to go stab somebody, all homeless people are going to go steal something, we gotta get rid of these people.’ We’re not all bad people. We’re not associated with anybody who would do something like that.”

I couldn’t agree more with this statement.  Most of the time, I feel completely safe under the Bridge.  The article says police don’t have a solution to the problem. Once again, I would like to see those complaining about the homeless to come serve those who are marginalized in the city to really understand where they are coming from before creating more laws.  

Come volunteer at Night Strike.

Donate to help build a mobile medical clinic to help build stronger relationships with those under the Bridge.

We also have a huge need right now for socks, lotion and razors.  We are talking basic dignity here.

Radio Enso w/ Greg Berg [Podcast]

radio ensoThe best thing about World Domination Summit is the connections you make.  I was introduced to Greg Berg via Twitter and after some quick online research, I realized a lot and I mean A LOT of my WDS friends have been on his podcast.  Plus, I got to meet Greg in real life at the WDS opening party this year at the Oregon Zoo and snag a hug from him.

marshall and i

Marshall and I on top of the mobile medical clinic

Gregory Berg runs Radio Enso, Tools and Inspiration for Conscious Living, on BlogTalkRadio every Monday at 6 p.m. Pacific (9pm Eastern). He aims to discover what makes other creative types, seekers, and non-conformists tick. In this podcast, he discusses a wide variety of topics including Alternative Career and Lifestyle Options, Travel, Metaphysics and Spirituality, New Media and Technology, Frontier Science, and Optimal Living. Each week, he features a special guest who will share their story, discuss the challenges that each of us face, and offer their own “Takeaway” that listeners can use on their own journey towards Conscious Living. You can always listen live or download archived shows at BlogTalkRadio, via the iTunes Podcast Store.

Guess who was this week’s lucky guest?!

Marshall Snider and I!

We got the opportunity to talk about BridgeTown Inc., homeless issues here in Portland, as well as my fundraiser: Beyond The Bridge that’s attempting to raise $27,000 to benefit the Night Strike program by August 27, my 27th birthday!  We covered a bunch of topics from what causes homelessness, why people might choose to be homeless, dignity and why this mobile medical clinic is so important.

You can listen to the podcast recording right here!

Listen to the podcast and let me know what you think!

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Throwing another wrinkle into the situation, some county leaders have insisted the amount of money appropriated has been close to the county’s requirement based on the actual spending of the animal shelter.As another backdrop to the debate, the city and county split the joint parks department three years ago due to funding disagreements.But Jensen stressed that only the 2016 budget is to be discussed during the joint meeting, not the agreement or past issues.But Councilman Dan Coffey said the city hasn’t been the party unwilling to pay its share.”It’s not a problem. They fund theirs, we’ll fund ours,” he said.The discussion tailed off without further input from Jensen or other council members. The agreement calls for each side to fund the shelter based on population, with the county being responsible for 51 percent as of 2015.ROADBLOCKS MAY BE REVISITEDThe city council didn’t have any ordinances or resolutions up for a vote Thursday, but the body did revisit a previous measure that was approved in 2013.Coffey said he favored banning roadblocks for organizations in 2013 because of safety concerns, but has become concerned about the effect the ordinance has had on fundraising for nonprofits and youth sports teams.”I have since found out that three organizations, we have cost them almost $40,000,” Coffey said.The Salvation Army, the WHAS Crusade for Children, and a youth sports organization were the groups Coffey named.

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