The Visionary Folk Art of Leon Kennedy

Leon Kennedy loves to paint the faces of those who matter most to him. “I love to see a picture of the beauty of old faces, young faces, all colors. Everyone has their own beauty, everyone has character.”

Human Face of Homelessness at Expressions Gallery

In a city that persecutes and banishes people on the streets, Expressions Gallery is a sanctuary that welcomed homeless artists and honored their creative work.

Recent News

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U.N. Human Rights Committee Calls Criminalization of Homelessness ‘Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading’

“I’m just simply baffled by the idea that people can be without shelter in a country, and then be treated as criminals for being without shelter,” said Sir Nigel Rodley. The U.N. Human Rights Committee condemned the criminalization of homelessness in the U.S. as a violation of international human rights.

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How Change Happens: The Immigration Uprising

In Tucson, San Francisco, Phoenix and Chicago, people sat down in front of ICE buses and vans, and chained themselves to vehicles to block deportations. County supervisors in Los Angeles and San Francisco passed resolutions demanding a moratorium on the huge wave of deportations — two million people in five years.

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Corporate Billionaires Take Over Berkeley Public Housing

I was pressured out of my public housing after living in Berkeley’s public housing for much of my life. I was pressured out and have been made homeless. I had to move in with some of my relatives to avoid living on the streets.” — Terry Pete, former public housing tenant

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Vehicle Dwellers Will Be Driven Out by Van Ban in S.F.

“In my mind, this is displacement,” said Nick Kamura. “It’s just not getting to the root of the problem, and the problem is people living in their vehicles, and they’re being criminalized for it.” The migration of vehicularly housed people after the ban’s initial phase signifies a failure in homeless policy.

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‘Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out’

When someone is homeless or down and out, they become a target for abuse, partly because people believe that there will be no retribution or punishment, and perhaps because the individual is often too helpless to fight back. Bullying in society often is directed at people who have suffered misfortune.

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Poetry of the Streets

How can we be housed and sleep at night when our brothers have no homes? How can we be housed and sleep at night when our sisters sleep on stones? What happened to the home we shared inside God’s heart? Whatever drove that home to vacancy drove us apart.

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Jimmy Lee’s Blues

Stefa had told him that people were meant to sleep indoors and urged him to find a way to get off the street. She was so right. He had been on the street too long. He needed to talk to her and all he could do was curse at the wind.

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Needle Exchange Is the Solution, Not the Problem

A well-run needle exchange program would serve the public health, and reduce the number of used syringes in public spaces. It may seem counterintuitive, but the best way to reduce needle litter is to prevent it at the source. Needle exchange is not the cause of needle litter. It is the solution.

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A Poet Finds Moral Beauty in the Lives of the Poor

Peter Marin’s poetry portrays the lives of homeless people as sources of great artistic beauty. Marin sees nobility disguised under shabby overcoats and finds beauty hidden inside cardboard shacks, in the people that America forgot.

The National Council of Elders Plants the Seeds of Freedom

There is a flower in Africa that blooms every 80 years. Imagine yourself planting seeds that may not bloom in your lifetime. But continue to water it even if it does not bloom in your lifetime.

The Street Spirit Interview with Peter Marin

This is what the government must do: Leave all the war stuff aside, leave the NSA stuff aside, and the billions spent on this by the government. The very first thing, beyond everything else, should be housing, damn it. It goes without question because it is so necessary for human survival.

Transfiguring Beauty: The Poetry of Peter Marin

Peter Marin’s poetry illuminates and transfigures, enabling us to see the sacred beauty of people living on the streets all around us. In a land where homeless people are shunned and persecuted, it is a revolutionary act when a poet finds beauty in their lives, and restores their stolen dignity.

Renewing the Struggle for Civil Rights

The planet is speaking and too few are listening. The poor are weeping and too few are concerned. The despised and rejected of men are incarcerated and deported. The Guantanamo gulag still exists. Drone warfare continues unabated. The economic devastation caused by the uber-rich is paid for by the struggling poor.

Lawmakers Bludgeon the Food Stamp Program

The Farm Bill includes massive cuts to the food stamp program that will affect about 47 million people living in poverty. Food stamp recipients will receive 90 dollars less per month when the cuts take effect, and in California alone, some 700,000 people in poverty will see their benefits shrink.