Writing for the Street Spirit: My 17 Year Journey

Writing for Street Spirit has awakened in me a sense of responsibility toward others. Street Spirit is a way for people silenced by big money and big media to have a voice.

Animal Friends: A Saving Grace for Homeless People

“I wrapped her in my jacket and promised I’d never let anybody hurt her again. And that’s my promise to her for the rest of her life. In my mind she’s a little angel that saved me as much as I saved her.”

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Berkeley shelter closes

The closure of the largest homeless shelter in Berkeley leaves many with nowhere to go

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A Testament to Street Spirit’s Justice Journalism

The game was rigged against the poor, but I will always relish the fact that Street Spirit took on the Oakland mayor and city council for their perverse assault on homeless recyclers. For me, that was hallowed ground. I will never regret the fact that we did not surrender that ground.

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Tragic Death of Oakland Tenant Mary Jesus

Being evicted felt like the end of her life. As a disabled woman, she saw nothing ahead but a destitute life on the streets. She told a friend, “If I’m evicted tomorrow, I have no choice but to kill myself. I have no resources, no savings, no money, and nowhere to go.”

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They Left Him to Die Like a Tramp on the Street

Life is sacred. It is not just an economic statistic when someone suffers and dies on the streets of our nation. It is some mother’s son, or daughter. It is a human being made in the image of God. It is a desecration of the sacred when that life is torn down.

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Joy in the Midst of Sorrow in Santa Maria Orphanage

This amazing priest not only housed 300 orphaned children from the streets of Mexico City, but he also took care of 20 homeless elders in his own house and started a home for children dying of AIDS. Father Norman also ran a soup kitchen that fed many people in the village.

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Attacking the Poor in a Full-Page Newspaper Ad

Imagine if all poverty and need were forced into the shadows based on the perceptions of danger by imaginative wealthy people. We would have what we have now; housing built predominantly for the well-off, with so little housing for the poor that the rest of us huddle under overpasses.

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Counties Cancel ICE Detention Contracts

Most cancellations are motivated by public outrage over the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance,” under which every migrant crossing the border without papers is criminally charged and held in detention centers. Over 3,000 children have been torn from their parents and thousands of others have been incarcerated.

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Encountering a Broken Health Care System

“I know that a person can be broken, but the system can be broken, too. I may be seen by others as a broken-down body with a broken-down mind. But I see a broken system in the mental health and medical field, from the front lines.”

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Fear and Loathing at the Mental Health Clinic

I’d had an “inappropriate outburst.” I’d been restrained, and then the device was used on me. It was designed to shut down the errant part of my brain by using a magnetic pulse. I was uncertain of whether the memory was real, or if it could have been a nightmare.

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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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Resurrection of the Poor People’s Campaign

Rev. Barber told the activists gathered in the nation’s capital that by demonstrating in solidarity with poor people, they had become a link in the long history of people who fought for justice.

Hate Crime Laws Needed to Protect the Homeless

As homelessness becomes more visible, people living on the streets are targeted for bullying, assaults, harassment and even murders.

Life Is A Precious Gift: Mother Teresa’s House in Washington

We will never know how many huge pots of soup Jacob lifted with the sisters into trucks, to take to the homeless in the park. We will never know how many diseased bodies he fed, held and bathed, and the number of tears he dried in the early morning hours.

Mother Teresa’s Gift of Love in San Francisco

She took home with her the men who had only a few days left to live and were suffering the most, and tenderly cared for them around the clock. I am certain some of the people I was meeting were angels, whose job was to make certain no soul died alone and unloved.

My Back Pages: A Song for Miss Kay

She softly sings the soul anthem “Stand By Me.” It is a song for Miss Kay, a song for all of us. Her life, with its music and joy, followed by a downward slide into homelessness and death, tells us something deeper than words about the human condition.

My Back Pages: Kerry’s Kids, An Undying Dream

Oakland pediatrician Dr. Karen Kruger said, “Kerry’s death was so sudden and seemingly purposeless and shocking that I think there was a need for people that loved her to carry on her memory in a way that she would look down on from her cloud and be happy about.”