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About Homelessness


Zetaman is an ordinary guy doing superhero deeds in Portland, Oregon.  In his spare time, he dons the Zetaman costume and walks the streets looking for ways to help men and women in need.

From Zetaman’s Blog:

On 5th and Yamhill, we noticed a guy sitting in a doorway. He had a jacket but was trying to cover his legs with his shirt. I asked him if he needed help. He mumbled something. I went back to my car to grab a blanket and socks. We got back and tried to talk to the guy. I asked him his name and he said it was “Homegrown” like the weed. We got to talking for a bit and we found out he was 17 years old. The kid has been on the streets since he was 12. 

It turns out the kid’s name was Brian and he was a runaway. 

My friend and I went to the Roxy and came back with two meals. We gave him both of the meals. I don’t think I can forget his look of surprise because he had no idea how to respond to someone helping him. It was like no one had ever did anything nice for him ever in his life. He had no understanding why we gave him stuff. Sadly Brian may not qualify for child services anymore.  

I read on things about people saying they feel good after handing stuff out. I really wish I did feel good. I don’t. A moment of easing someone’s pain for one night does nothing. The small stuff we hand out does not do a bit of good. There is no victory in what I do. 

There are many reasons why people are on the street. I took a few classes down at the Portland Rescue Mission which helped my understanding of why people are on the street. I don’t think what I do helps in the physical sense. But I feel compelled to at least talk to people. I feel that I want to talk to all the Brians, or Jimmys or Elizabeths. I think at least trying be a friend is what I should be doing.  

Each time I go out I try to record what happened. At least at one point, at one time there is some kind of record that this person existed. These people do exist. It is to my shame that I only have this blog in which to convey their stories. 

I don’t think we are doing some good unless we are working on better solutions like non-profits. But at times like this, I hope that there is a higher power who is putting a few of us in key moments where we can give some compassion at the right time. I think that is what drives me.  

I know I can’t solve the world’s problems. I am a guy. But perhaps there is a better reason why things happen. I hope there is a bigger picture and the small contributions I make work toward that larger effort.