Because of the extreme cold the homeless faced Operation Safe Winter PDX was out doing something about it. The Portland Anons organized an operation to pass out warm items to save lives on the streets when the city failed to provide adequate shelter or options. On one of these operations I was honored to accompany them as they went out onto the streets. What I saw brought tears to my eyes because the love they were spreading was real. At one point a police car pulled up and asked what we were doing, and what was with the masks? The answer I heard was, " we don't need the recognition for doing good". There it is folks! That's the simple honest truth. So far there have been three #operationsafewinter events that always begin at 8th and West Burnside by the elephant sculpture. And everyone is invited to join in the fun of spreading love and informing the public of various issues of importance that is not being told on your evening news. We will be keeping you informed of their future operations and I will be livestreaming from the events. I personally recommend that you come to the next event and meet them.
One day he wandered into town and saw tents all over two off the parks he waled by. They were a part of the Occupy Portland Movement that raised awareness to the inequality of the masses. He was intrigued so he hung around, but when the occupation was evicted, he became a part of the Prayer Vigil to End the Camping Ban. And there he lived, day in and day out, on the front sidewalks of Portland City Hall for the next 19 months. He made coffee and swept the sidewalks daily and kindly thanked those who brought food donations in support of the vigil. As time went on, the vigil became a very normal everyday occurrence that those passing by got to know us very well. But after things began to wind down for the protesters in front of city hall, Joe returned to his tree where he felt safe. But as this winter came upon us, Joe was exposed to extremely low temperatures, and he was caught without winter boots. Needless to say, his toes were lost from frostbite.
As of late, Joe is resting well indoors where he is getting care and recovering from his many years outside. While he was being given the care for his toes, test results exposed that he has terminal cancer. Joe is in good spirits, and living each day in a positive way, and I will be bringing more to you as he progress's.
Update: It has been some time since I was reminded to update this story. It was on Feb. 20th that our much loved friend passed away. Joe chose to not go through the cancer treaments if it was only going to prolong his suffering for 9 months. It only took a few weeks for him to go, but he was ready.