Homeless/rubbertramping in Portland, Oregon


Jan 31, 2017
Current Location
85 Kiniry Dr, Rochester, NY 14609, USA
Hey Ya'll!

First off. I'm so glad this website exists. Thank you so much to those who put it together and keep it running. This was an awesome resource for my partner and I two years ago when we hitchhiked and walked the Appalachian trail for a bit, now we're going to be hitting the road again in a few months

We're planning on embarking on the modern day Oregon Trail in search of new opportunity. I'm a self-learned creative/graphic designer. My partner and I are leaving our home in Upstate NY to travel west in our van seeking opportunity for both of us. We have our appetites set most on Portland, Oregon or one of the surrounding cities. While we're looking for jobs to get us by until we can get the jobs we really want, we will likely need to be homeless and live out of our van.

We know a few people who are residents of the city already that we can couch surf with here and there, but we dont want to be a burden, would probably like our own space sometimes, and these options may not always be available to us,

I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for living homeless in Portland, Oregon or it's surrounding areas. Living IN the city would be ideal. I know about rubbertramping and couch surfing websites. Anyone have anything to offer? Thanks!
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Emperor of the North Pole
Lifetime Supporter
Nov 4, 2006
Current Location
Mostly in New Bedford, Mass when home.
Do you have any pointers or advice??
Ohh do I ! But whenever I start spouting off on the soapbox of wisdom I ended up feeling deflated afterwards. All such wisdom is always contextual & or personal to any set of of evolving variables. You got this. If you have already walked the AT & hitched together previously, you are gonna rock this next chapter. Real life cannot be planned out with caches, shelters & waypoints as with something like an organized trail system. seek out that which is wild everywhere.

Do know that the whole world is like a random system that is shared & connected by us all. Go west, go forth into the great unknown & trust that you will find everything you need in your adventure at the exact time when it is most needed. IMO the universe manifests our needs as such. Sure you want to do you due diligence & advanced logistics planning, gear selection while getting yourselves psyched up. Its natural but as you have found your way in the past; you have found your way here to STP; so too will you realize that there is much advice & wisdom collected here in writing on STP. Use what works for you on this trip & leave the rest. In time you will remember that the destination is the journey; the unknown risks & subsequent traveling miracles are what keeps you looking over that next horizon.

So my only advice is to trust your researching abilities your prior planning skills, trust your partner, trust the universe & trust that my advice is distorted through the lens of my own experience. Your journey will most likely contribute much to your overall experience & I urge you to remember that some of us want to hear about it all here. We old timers need your support to know that once we all did epic shit too; much that others may not care to read about or don't believe. We must remember that once felt positive anxiety that whirs in our belly just before departing on a trip & returns every-time we find the courage to depart our new found comfortable utopia again for uncharted lands.
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Rhubarb Dwyer

Fragrant Vagrant
StP Supporter
Apr 30, 2016
Current Location
Cracksonville, FL
Enforcement of car camping...or camping general...is constantly changing in PDX.
Behind Walgreens on 39th/Belmont might still be good. You'll know when you see it.
If you can make any friends in the Cully hood, you might land a driveway or backyard parking arrangement.
Last summer, a safe-ish spot I used was Parkrose Transit Ctr. They allow up to 24 hrs and it is big enough to blend in. Never saw any transit cops patrolling, but you never know. The MAX(light rail) is right there and you can get to every other train/bus. You can walk right on without a ticket. They occasionally check, but typically during peak hours. If you are stopped, play dumb. You're from out of town and didn't know how it works. As long as you're not a dick, you should walk away with a warning.
The amount of homeless resources is insane. 211.org will tell you about anything you need from clothes to clinics.
Free food is ABUNDANT.
Ask a cop or library for a Rose City Resource booklet. Street Roots vendors usually have them too.
Tons of parks and libraries.
Spangeing and busking spots are always pretty blown up, so good luck if that's your thing.
Hang out at the Yamhill Pub downtown. Its the last refuge for the underbelly of folks that you might align with.
PDX is still a decent place if you find the right folks(hint: look for Cascadian flags). Otherwise, its all yuppies and hipsters.
What else...feel free to message me if you run into any specific questions or you're looking for cool shit to do. Portland and I are currently not on speaking terms, but I know it well. @Geraldo is also a good resource and a rad guide.
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Mastering the Art of Houselessness
Dec 12, 2014
Current Location
Bend, OR
Ya, just as a secondary response to @Snorting Nitrons , there are a few threads on this site completely about Portland, ,and hiw to survive there. Use the search feature. Although just searching "Portland will bring you alot ot threads that are random, try going to the "resources" section and searching there.

Should come up with rubbertramping info, soup kitchens, clothing/showers, squats, all kinds of amazing stuff.

Portland has always been kind to me.
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