Having a sense of place or a home shouldn't be a negotiable
Two months ago, I moved into a tiny home—a 1976 Airstream trailer, to be exact. Throughout all pockets of the city of Portland, where I’ve lived for the past seven years, one often hears stories of people being displaced from their homes for a number of reasons (escalating rents, a competitive real estate market, seemingly endless urban development, to name a few). This past February, my housemates and I became one of those stories. Our run–down but comfortable three–bedroom in the core of SE Portland was sold by its owner, and we, like so many other renters these days, were given the boot.
Displacement echoes throughout our region, and our country. Oregonians are concerned about health, food, and clean water, but if you ask them what they want to see elected officials do something about, poverty, affordable housing, and homelessness rank highest. Environmentalist John Francis said, “If we are the environment, then all we need to do is look around and see how we treat ourselves, and how we treat each other.”
Having a sense of place or a home shouldn’t be negotiable, yet factors like systemic oppression, climate change, and environmental injustice keep both humans and wildlife scrambling. This prompts the question: Where is your place? Whether it’s on the side of a mountain, in an underground nest, amidst a grove of storied trees, or on the front lines of an environmental advocacy movement, we all have a place. A place we feel we belong, a place where we can safely be ourselves.
For now, my drafty Airstream Land Yacht is my place, where each day I wake up feeling thankful for things like running water, electricity, and a place to call home each night.
Enjoy this first Fieldbook of 2019. We are excited to bring you another year of news, stories, and work that you help make possible.
Dez Ramirez, Content Manager