Help Homefulness Happen: Donate Today!

A collage of people involved with POOR and Homefulness. People surround a banner that reads PNN Magazine/Poor News Network

Homefulness is a vision that goes back decades. It was the theme of the first issue of POOR Magazine in 1996. It is a poor people–created vision of good housing, where home, garden, childcare, education, community, and art and media making are fluid and shared. It's housing that is permanent, that offers a balance of privacy and community, and that you can have access to regardless of how much money you have. Homefulness is worlds apart from shelter beds, or transitional housing for low-income people that comes with paternalistic strings attached.

That's how Jess Hoffmann described Homefulness in her article on POOR Magazine from the Habit{at} issue of Bitch. (Read the entire article, "The Audacity of Home," online). Homefulness—a cohousing project that provides affordable, permanent homes for houseless and formerly houseless people in East Oakland—is just one of several projects of POOR made for and by people in struggle.

That article has continued to resonate for me (and not just because I worked with Jess on it). From the misguided story about the cop giving a homeless man boots, to the ongoing Idle No More protests, I've often thought back to the revolutionary discourse that POOR Magazine and its co-founder Tiny Gray-Garcia use to challenge the status quo about poverty, capitalism, and home.

If you read the article and thought "How can I help?"—now you can. The Homefulness project in East Oakland has broken ground, and they have an IndieGoGo campaign to help raise more money. They have a month left to raise $30,000 for a matching gift.

You're not just helping the Homefulness vision be realized, but contirbuting to the POOR's reenvisioning of resources: "We believe that people who have struggled to survive, feed and clothe multiple family members and themselves in fact hold a deep scholarship about the use and distribution of resources...Donating is not a privilege or a nice idea, but rather, that it is a duty of people with class and/or race privelege, to give their time, their surplus income, their equity, and/or their support towards change for people struggling with poverty in the U.S. and across the globe."

A group of people of different ages and races stand together at the Homefulness groundbreaking. The words Homefulness: A Landless Peoples Revolution are at the top of the picture

POOR Magazine challenges ideas about homes, society, wealth, and community, and Homefulness is is the result of that. By supporting Homefulness, you're helping build sites for permanent housing for landless families and individuals; the Family Access to Multicultural Intergenerational Learning with our Youth (FAMILY) School, a revolutionary child-care center and school; POOR Magazine and a community newsroom; Uncle Al & Mama Dee's Cafe, a multigenerational community arts and social justice eating and performance space; a sustainable urban farm rooted in indigenous values and practices, and more. Visit their IndieGoGo campaign today, and learn more at

A picture of some greens growing in raised beds. Behind them is a painted sign that reads Mother Earth Garden--Coming Soon to a Hood Near You

All images from POOR Magazine.
by Kjerstin Johnson
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Kjerstin Johnson is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. She is the former editor in chief of Bitch. She tweets at @kajerstin

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