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.”
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“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.
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.
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
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.