Coming from homelessness

My name is Richard Nichols, and I was homeless. After spending my childhood in the Pacific Northwest with my extended family, a slew of family problems and truancy charges in my teenage years forced me to reconnect with my estranged Mother. She was living on her own in Hawaii on a piece of land that she had been left. I ended up running away to visit my Mom in Hawaii, leaving without thinking of what my life would look like. When I arrived, I soon realized that my mom was not only living on her own, but living without shelter. I spent ## months living with her on this small piece of land without access to shelter, food, or running water.

I’ve since recovered and gotten back on my feet through my business printing t-shirt designs. Because of this formative experience, I recognize when someone is in need. I’ve lived through that experience and I was able to come out of the other side, but not many can. There are people who need help but can’t get it. I’ve seen how one small change can have a profound impact on someone’s existence and single-handedly turn their life around. I’ve recovered, but now I want to help others recover by giving them shelter and a safe place to live. This is the first step towards both an individual’s recovery, and in the long run, Portland's homeless issue.

 

It's the little things you miss the most

I’ll admit, at first it was nice to escape into the woods, I had a sense of connection with nature, we felt free and untethered. To a certain extent there was unlimited freedom. But after a while you realize how many of the simple things you miss. You begin to realize what a privilege some of the basic necessities are. Little things like being able to flip on a light instead of using a carotene candle or being able to flush a toilet instead of using a bucket.

at my worst

I was living in a tent with my mom and her dog Rotten, a 110 lb rottweiler/doberman mix. One night the weather was particularly terrible. We got some food from 7-11 that they left by the dumpster for us, and in the middle of the night at 1:30 or so we gave the dog the scraps we weren’t sure we could eat. An hour or so later I woke up and the dog was shitting all over me. Now I’m in a tiny tent crammed together with my mom and this dog. We had no shower. Nowhere to wash. Nowhere to go. Luckily it was raining and we collected rainwater in a garbage can near by. We cleaned ourselves off the best we could, but I vividly remember this as my low point.

All they need is
A safe place to sleep

Huts for Hope aims to give much needed shelter to the 4,000 homeless sleeping on the streets in Portland. While there are avenues for receiving food, water, and clothing, actual shelter is much harder to find. Huts for Hope wants to provide this missing element and create a foundation which could serve as a turning point in someone’s life.

 

 

 

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