Archive | September, 2010

The Injustice of Poverty and the Worship of Money

“March” Drawing by Josh MacPhee See http://wraphome.org for art relating to social justice

“The love of money is the root of all evil.” Our society has turned this truth upside down so that seeking wealth is now perceived as godlike.

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Coffee and Conversation with a Homeless Man

Art by Christa Occhiogrosso

This man was in his early sixties and had been homeless for many years. Yet he kept his hair combed, and he spoke clearly and reasonably. Sure, he had some anger concerning his plight, but who wouldn’t? It seems that fate had dealt him a few too many blows, and this is where he had ended up.

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No Place at the Table: Feeding the Poor Is a Crime

Feeding the hungry is an act of faith in many religions. Art by Christa Occhiogrosso

After closing the public feeding facility, San Diego officials quickly moved against the Salvation Army and got their meal program closed. Then, one by one, they began began picking off the smaller homeless providers who offered food and day shelter. Some churches have resisted.

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Housing Is a Human Right

Art by David Adams

U.S. housing advocates can and should use international human rights standards to reframe the public debate, craft and support legislative proposals, supplement legal claims in court, advocate in international forums and support community organizing efforts.

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U.S. Government Conceals Housing Violations in Report to United Nations

“What is needed is a change in the mindset and motivation of our elected leaders to say that housing is not just a commodity, but a basic human need, and a basic human right. This report was a chance to make a strong statement in that regard, and it is sad to see our leaders shying away from this opportunity.” —Eric Tars, human rights program director at the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

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America’s Epidemic of Violence Against the Homeless

Violent, often fatal, attacks on homeless Americans now outnumber all other categories of hate crimes combined. Over the past 11 years, there are more than double the amount of homeless hate crime deaths than there are for all other protected classes. Homeless Americans from all walks of life have been victimized by hate crimes. Many of the victims of lethal assaults are older homeless men.

***** Lenny Silverberg’s starkly beautiful paintings capture the suffering etched on the faces of homeless people the artist observed struggling to survive.

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Poetry September 2010

Hope’s nothing but right,/

like the justice of star shine/

on river breezing midnights….

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A Life Consecrated to Compassion and Justice

On the bleak streets of the Tenderloin, a sister took a stand against inhumanity. Her solidarity was inspired by the beatitudes and consecrated to the poor.

The Invisible Natural Cathedral of People’s Park

Builders, please go away. Allow the beauty of an Invisible Natural Cathedral to remain, a living shrine of open space that gives refuge to all people.

Street Spirit Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin

This atrocity was happening in a very wealthy city. It was happening right under our noses. It was very visible. And there was not the united voice of the faith community speaking out. That was the spark of Religious Witness. From that moment, I knew what I had to do.

Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin, Part Two

“What’s forming in my mind is Jesus in the temple when he became angry at the unjust and very exclusive systems of society. That is the very reason that there are the poor and the marginalized. It is not enough just to provide food, clothing and housing.”

‘Such Is the Magic and Spirit of People’s Park’

The mayor has no understanding of the awful defeat the loss of People’s Park would be. No comprehension of the cost in lives and the sacrifices people have made for the Park’s ideals. So many still find it a refuge in a country needing a political and spiritual overhaul.

I Remember Who I Am

“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.