A Partnership to Serve HIV-Positive Survivors

A post written by Kiera Hansen, Bradley Angle Community Based Services Manager

Through an incredible collaborative effort, I am pleased to report that Bradley Angle and Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) secured three-year grant funding through the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program and the Violence against Women Act (VAWA) to offer more services to HIV-positive survivors.

Survivors of domestic/intimate partner violence are at an increased risk for HIV. We also see HIV-positive individuals experience domestic/intimate partner violence at higher rates than the general population.

This new program is designed to help HIV-positive domestic/intimate partner violence survivors in the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area connect with the housing and supportive services they need to live healthy and safe lives. The funds will be managed by the Portland Housing Bureau while CAP and Bradley Angle will administer the project’s day-to-day programming.

In the domestic/intimate partner violence field we know that lack of stable and affordable housing is often reported by survivors as being one of the primary reasons they stayed in a relationship that was not healthy for them.

In the HIV prevention field, research shows that once in consistent and safe housing, people living with HIV are more likely to:

  • Think beyond their basic survival and seek health care and supportive services
  • Access HIV treatment that works for them
  • Take their medication consistently which leads to decreased risk of HIV transmission
  • Experience better overall health outcomes

We are thrilled about this opportunity to engage in a collaborative effort that bridges the gaps between these intersecting services and provide housing stability.

For more information on either of these programs contact:

Kiera, Kierah@bradleyangle.org

With participant referrals contact:

Omer, Omere@bradleyangle.org

 

Freedom Fighters

A post written by Jackie Yerby, Bradley Angle’s Executive Director

I wanted to share with you a great experience that I had this week. It involved first year students from Roosevelt High School who are participating in their school’s Freedom Fighter Project.  This project is a way to make writing come alive for students by having them interview organizations and individuals identified as “Freedom Fighters” in our community.

S. Renee Mitchell who is one of the founders of Bradley Angle’s Healing Roots program teaches at Roosevelt High School and runs the Freedom Fighter Project.

A group of students interviewed me about domestic violence, the work that we do at Bradley Angle and about how my education prepared me for my current role.  It was really inspiring and hopeful to spend the morning with such a thoughtful group of students.

It was so humbling for the work Bradley Angle does to be recognized in this special way. Our fellow 2017 Freedom Fighters are an impressive group of people including Rev. T. Allen Bethel of the Albina Ministerial Alliance and Marantha Church, Judith Mowry of the City of Portland’s Office of Human Rights, and  Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith. We were honored to be counted among them.

The students will be producing a publication of the interviews and there will also be a traveling exhibit that will start in February at the Oregon Historical Society.

In dedication to Tami Best

A post written by Angela Frazier, a former Bradley Angle staffer and Tami’s daughter

I recently lost my mother, who experienced domestic violence in the latter part of her life. At the time, I was on staff at Bradley Angle. The Bradley Angle staff, my former colleagues and friends, and BA board members attended her service. I am so thankful for their support during this difficult time. But their support didn’t end there.

When presented with an opportunity to name a new program at Bradley Angle, my former colleagues chose to honor my mom. I never imagined they would do this and allow her legacy to live on. My family and I are truly humbled by this gesture. Knowing that a place will honor my mom and will continue to help survivors like her is unbelievable. I can’t thank Bradley Angle enough for the love and support they have shown my family.

I know what it feels like to not have a space for your life. It truly warms my heart to know that survivors will not only have a safe place, but a place to themselves. It is often that when a space in a shelter opens up there’s only one room for an entire family, but these apartments will allow families to have their own home… all to themselves. The shelter expansion will help even more families in Oregon who need to leave an abusive relationship. My family is thankful that these survivors will not experience the continued abuse that my mother dealt with: They have a place to go.

Knowing there are loving and caring people at Bradley Angle dedicated to ending domestic violence in our community, helps our family to heal. I find hope in seeing the good that comes from this program.

I look forward to hearing the stories of the people who are living in or leaving the program, to seeing the facial expressions of the parents and kids when they learn they have their own rooms and a safe place to live, and perhaps even planning a holiday meal with Damian Lillard’s personal chef, Kenneth James. But mostly, I look forward to starting a tradition to honor my mom on Mother’s Day by offering gifts and lots of love to the moms living in these apartments. That’s what I would do for mom.

Together

Dear Bradley Angle Community,

This election has been challenging for so many of us. topics such as anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, sexual assault and misogyny were an unavoidable part of our local and national conversations.

As advocates–for ourselves and other survivors–many of us had been fighting to tell our stories for decades. But our voices were not centered in this long-overdue conversation and we were subjected to justifications and dismissals by abusers. As members of marginalized communities, many of us experience various forms of violence on a daily basis. This left many of us feeling alone, invalidated, hopeless, angry.

And the result of yesterday’s presidential election has underscored those feelings for many of us.

But today, we write to make it clear that we are in this together. We’re caring for ourselves, but we are also here to support you.

We want to acknowledge how triggering this election season has been and that there has been a recent increase of hate violence enacted against many members of our communities. We want to offer our support. If you need support around resources or to talk, cry, or rage with another, please give us a call. Renee Anderson can be reached at 503.595.9591 x. 302, Kiera Hansen is available at 503.595.9591 x. 323 and Robin Davis is available at 503.595.9591 x. 308.

Our partners at Call to Safety (503.235.5333) and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800.273.8255) are also available 24/7. The Trevor Project (866.488.7386) and Trans Lifeline (877.565.8860) are also available 24/7 for LGBTQ and trans people, respectively.

Please reach out if that’s what’s right for you.

With love and justice in our hearts,

Bradley Angle Staff

What Summer Slump?

Dear Bradley Angle Community,

It’s already September. Don’t ask me how we got here.

I’m still waiting for those weeks of seemingly-endless sunshine that compel Portlanders to leave our desks behind and head to the lake. But since Labor Day has come and gone, so I suppose we’ll all put our uneven tans back in our tights (or whatever your leg-wear jam may be!) for nine more months of cloudy wonderment!

Summer months are usually Bradley Angle’s slow season, but this year was different. We have been very busy since June. Here are just a few of the things we were up to:

We’ve continued to on-board our new Executive Director, Jackie Yerby. If you haven’t had a chance to meet Jackie yet, feel free to send her a note at jackiey@bradleyangle.org. She’d love to hear from you!

Amazing volunteers at Red Dress PDX gave our LGBTQ program a generous grant of $10,000!

Your generous support and a grant from the newly increased Victims of Crime Act Fund made it possible for us to replace all of the mattresses in our shelter with bed bug resistant products. This change has already improved the quality of life at shelter.

Chef Kenneth James made a great meal and kicked off an Adopt-A-Holiday program at Bonnie Tinker House! A few holidays are still waiting to be adopted, if you’d like to sign up!

Cat del Buono featured five survivors from Bradley Angle programs in her nationally-renowned  art show, Voices, when it made its stop at Portland’s Blue Sky Gallery.

And Cascade Aids Project helped us kickoff a new program serving survivors of domestic violence who are also living with HIV or AIDS.

Your support made all of this amazing programming possible.

We are so lucky to have you in our corner, working hard for survivors.

 

Thank you,

Rebecca Alexander
Director of Development and Communications

 

Bed Bug Resistant Mattresses at Shelter

A post written by Kristi Smith, Bradley Angle’s Shelter Manager.

Bed bugs!  Those little guys create big time problems for folks once they take residence in mattresses, fabric couches, wooden bed frames etc.  It has been reported that bed bugs are becoming more common in our city and can be picked up with very little effort while just commuting to work on the Max or finding a new treasure at a vintage store.  As you can imagine, if bed bugs show up in shelters, there is no easy, or quick, solutions.

Domestic Violence shelters are no different in the havoc that bed bugs can create, but what can be different is the emotional impact that can have on survivors.  Of course, being concerned for one’s safety is very important, but the kind of impact I am talking about goes even deeper.  We have learned and are reminded very often in this work that survivors of domestic violence crave sacred space.  Space that is theirs and free of the trauma that brought them to shelter in the first place.  For many people who enter these doors, their personal rooms become their sacred space to be free of violence.

Recently we were able to do a little proactive work to help prevent families from being displaced if we suspect bed bugs in survivors’ rooms.  Bradley Angle was able to purchase 19 bed bug resistant mattresses and replace every mattress we have at shelter.  This is a really incredible gift and we are so thankful for the grant to be able to do this for our participants.  Not only does this put people’s minds at ease, but it also helps survivors create safe, healthy, sacred places for themselves and their children.  This doesn’t mean that folks will never have to experience the discomfort of having to rearrange rooms or move folks in shelter, but any way of eliminating added trauma is a fantastic step forward.

We’re Here If You Need Us

This post was written by our Community Based Services Manager, Kiera Hansen.

To our beloved community,

In the wake of the tragic event in Orlando this weekend, all of us at Bradley Angle want you to know that we understand deeply the pain, loss, and trauma such a violent expression of hate can trigger. These events can be especially triggering for those of us whose personal histories include surviving violence.

We recognize that LGBTQ communities, especially LGBTQ Communities of Color, experience violence on a daily basis and large-scale acts of hate, such as the one this weekend, remind us that there is much work to be done.

We acknowledge the disproportionate impact this act will continue to have on queer Muslim and Latinx communities. We would like you to know we are committed to ending both systemic and interpersonal violence that all LGBTQ individuals experience. Additionally, we would like to offer our support to those who would like it.

If you would like support, please contact me, Kiera Hansen, to speak with myself or Meg Panichelli, our Interim LGBTQ Program Coordinator.  Both of us are LGBTQ-identified and at least one of us is available Monday- Friday, 9am-4pm. My phone number is 503-595-9591 ext. 323 and my email address is KieraH@bradleyangle.org.

Let’s support one another during Pride. Come mingle with our staff at the Trans Family Picnic on Friday, the Portland Trans Pride March on Saturday or stop by our Pride booth at the Waterfront (Booth L5). The staff representing Bradley Angle at these events are Queer and/or Trans-identified and are trained domestic and sexual violence advocates.

With big queer love in our hearts,

Kiera Hansen
Community Based Services Manager

A Gift of Love

This post was written by Bradley Angle volunteers, Kaaren Pixton and Melody Aanderud.

kaaren & melodyDear Bradley Angle Community,

We are a part of a group of Mormon women and teenage girls who wanted to do something to make a difference for people in our broader community. There seems to have been some inspiration involved because when we approached Bradley Angle, you just happened to have a dream that included a mural for a healing garden.

We  worked together to develop the concept.

I, Kaaren Pixton, have had a long career working in schools and the community as an artist-in-residence.  This has included many mural installations.  I passionately believe in the power of community art and am currently focusing professionally on children’s book writing and illustration.

And I, Melody Aanderud, have painted murals for churches, schools and homes. Professionally, I have worked for several large corporations to design sales offices, cafes and stores around the world.  Recently I have focused on home and office remodel projects.  My passion lies in creating inspiring spaces and artwork to go in them.
design work
We decided on the theme of a meadow thinking it would be both peaceful and full of life.  We created the design that was outlined like a grown-up coloring book.  There was help from other artists as this was transferred onto wooden “tiles” carefully cut and numbered by Francis.

Seventy five women and girls showed up on the painting night.  We had to ask mothers and daughters to work together because there were only sixty eight tiles.  It was an amazing experience of giving and cooperation.  We feel a sense of wonder and gratitude at how it all worked out (considering we hadn’t done anything quite like this before.)

It is a gift of love.  We hope it brings some peace and joy to the survivors who will look upon it.

Sincerely,
Kaaren & Melody

A Visit to Ferguson

This post was written by Angela Frazier, our Grants and Communications Coordinator.

It was only a year ago when Michael Brown, an 18 year old African American male was fatally shot by a white police officer. Many of us have seen heart breaking news footage of these cases time after time. It is hard enough to see it in the media but a completely different feeling to visit the location where a fatal shooting has taken place. November 2015 I built up the courage to visit Ferguson, Missouri. I wanted to see firsthand where this took place and allow myself to grieve the killing of another unarmed black male. Visiting Ferguson allowed me to do just that.

We are well aware of these incidents and how unarmed black men are not safe in their own communities. Unfortunately, this is similar to how domestic violence survivors aren’t safe within their own home. This has been some of the driving force of why I am so passionate about the work that I do here at Bradley Angle. I know that I am working for a nonprofit that is making a great impact in the domestic violence world. Everyday focusing on creating a community free of domestic violence.

As a result of visiting Ferguson, I have taken the time to read more about public health and its relation to police shootings. I came across an article, Police-related killings are countable public health data. An article that details public health issues and how police related killings need to be recognized as a public health concern.

Several instances of police violence over the past years in the U.S. are clear examples of law-enforcement-related harms to the public’s health. The goal of public health is to protect and improve the health of the entire population so why aren’t we recording police related killings in public health datasets?

Read more on Police-related killings are countable public health data here.

Transgender Day of Resilience

Written by tash shatz our LGBTQ Program Coordinator.
This Friday, November 20th is Trans Day of Remembrance. This day was founded in 1998 to honor those killed by anti-transgender violence. While more and more education about trans people has reached the mainstream this year, we know that at least 20 trans women have been murdered so far in 2015, most of them were women of color and many were killed by intimate partners.
This Friday evening from 7-9pm, a Trans Day of Remembrance event will be happening at the PCC Cascade Moriarty Arts Building (705 N. Killingsworth Street.) The event is free, features speakers and performers, and all are welcome to attend. I’ll be there, so please let me know if you want to join and I can save you a seat. More info about the event here.
And if you can’t make it to the PCC event, Trans Day of Remembrance is an important reminder about how all of the types of violence we work on intersect. And it reminds me of the incredible resilience of survivors of violence (such as this amazing Trans Day of Resilience Art Project!).