Our Operating Philosophies
Hygiene4All operates from the philosophies of non-violence, anti-oppression, and gentle personalism
Nonviolence. Hygiene4All's first priority is to ensure the maximum safety and well-being of all who enter our place of work. Fostering a nonviolent environment starts with relationships: by calling each other by name, by treating those we welcome with dignity and respect, and by showing care for one another. Any violence introduced into our space -- whether physical, emotional, and verbal -- will be met with a firm, non-violent requirement that those involved pause and reflect and that those most impacted determine best measures for repairing the peace, dignity, and safety of our community.
Anti-Oppression. We actively and continuously work to create a community in which our most vulnerable community members feel affirmatively welcomed and valued. Hygiene4All pledges to actively interrupt racist, sexist, transphobic, and homophobic actions and language. We are committed to recruiting, supporting, and nurturing members of diverse backgrounds for all activities and jobs at Hygiene4All.
Gentle Personalism. Gentle Personalism holds that everyone has a piece of the truth and valuable experiences and knowledge to share with others. Gentle personalism maintains that people and communities flourish when we value diverse knowledge and direct our array of experiences toward solving shared problems. The process of building a community of trust, mutual value, and respect -- of enacting gentle personalism -- is as important as completing any project or solution we undertake. For it is on the basis of community and daily acts of mutual kindness and recognition that we build the wherewithal to know one-another's needs and to organize to meet them.
Leveraging Distributed Cognition. Leveraging Distributed Cognition is inspired by the book Impossible Engineering. When one is able to draw together different understandings and experiences to tackle difficult problems and entertain novel solutions - old set barriers and assumptions can be constructively disrupted - leading to breakthroughs. Hygiene4All engages different disparate communities of knowledge (those adept at surviving on the streets and informal mutual aid and care; activists involved in harm reduction and WHOLE community safety; neighborhood businesses and associations who frequently navigate city zoning, laws, and public space and health issues; and city/county policy makers aware of the historical and current political hurdles to transforming laws, zoning, and practices). We do so in order to generate “outside the box” solutions to our housing and public health crises. Drawing the aforementioned communities into conversation also helps forge interest and buy in for previously unimagined ways of ending criminalization, personal insecurity and isolation, and health challenges that perpetuate chronic houselessness. Centering houseless-experiences and perspectives in cross-community conversations and work, Hygiene4All helps break the calcified top down approaches that hold us back. Hygiene4All believes that dialogue across knowledge/experiential divides is the key to breaking down stereotypical assumptions and roadblocks and generating perspectives and practices leading to a healthier, more equitable city for all.