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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Society’s Failure to Care Is the Root of Homelessness

In one of the richest places in the world, people become so wrapped up in their own comfort and status that they don’t care about the human beings they are stepping over.

Visionary Art of Leon Kennedy

In Leon Kennedy’s painting, his living friends are portrayed next to long-gone elders and assassinated civil rights leaders. Even death does not shatter the bonds of love and community.

Welcome to Homelessness

The worst thing about homelessness, I sensed, would have nothing to do with bad weather, hunger or sleep deprivation. It would be the way I soon would be cast out like a leper, as though one would contract a deadly disease just from being in my presence.

Big Money Spends a Fortune to Fight Rent Control

Wealthy landlords, realtors and developers have teamed up and are spending a fortune to fight the efforts of renters to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act, the law that severely limits the rent control options of California cities. Tenants have also launched rent control campaigns in 10 California cities.

Vicious and Cruel Assault on the Poorest of the Poor

Elected leaders of the national tenants union denounced the housing bill proposed by HUD Secretary Ben Carson as a vicious and cruel assault on the poorest of the poor. “Millions will be displaced if these deeply cruel proposals see the light of day. Congress should reject them out of hand.”

The DBA’s Assault on Free Speech in Berkeley

The DBA launched a new poster destruction policy, despite being warned it was unconstitutional by the City Attorney. Tearing down fliers is a textbook example of a free speech violation. No one has the right to make content-based distinctions about what is allowed to be posted or said in legal, public places.