Since our humble and admittedly civilly disobedient beginnings, we have come a long way.
From December of 2000 until September of 2001, Dignity occupied a series of otherwise unused public spaces near downtown Portland. Each move was a celebratory occasion for another of our famous shopping cart parades which increasingly became community-wide events well-covered by the media.
During this time, Dignity Village was democratically derived under the Fremont Bridge when Dignity was at its largest size ever (80+ people), a slow process that involved a lot of back-and-forth and which took the better part of a year. Our accomplishment was a first step on the road to legitimization, that we were no longer just a bunch of homeless people but a registered 501(C)3 non-profit.
Eventually, on September 4th, 2001 Dignity was forced under threat of a police sweep to move to Sunderland Yard, a city-owned leaf-composting facility seven miles from downtown. Our present location in Sunderland Yard is our sixth and only location not arrived at in one of our popular shopping cart parades. And since we began both the purpose and the long-range vision of Dignity have become steadily more refined in the praxis of the village’s historical development.