Archive | April, 2011

In Search of Libraries’ Clean, Well-Lighted Spaces

Homeless people sit outside the San Francisco Public Library. Lydia Gans photo

They call them “public libraries” for a reason. In an increasingly corporatized world, public space is growing scarcer. Shopping centers have collaborated to form “business improvement districts” where “outsiders” are monitored and curtailed, often by private security forces.

Also, laws such as the sit-lie ordinance, approved by San Francisco voters in November, place further limits on where homeless people may assemble peaceably.

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Abused

Art by Christa Occhiogrosso

Marie was certain this would be the best holiday ever. After the two-year separation, she was back with her children and had found a job. The apartment was small and dark, but to Marie, it was filled with light.

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Poetry, April 2011

“Here We Are: Praising God and Serving One Another.” Art by Leon Kennedy

LENT 2011

(Spring Renewal)

by Maureen Hartmann

This year there have been
uprisings of the grassroots
against oppressive governments,
like Wisconsin, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia.
The protests are signs
of a growth in consciousness.
A maturation, like a small amount
of yeast in dough for a large loaf,
spreads throughout the Earth.
This year the grassroots implant,
even in many deaths,
seeds of hope and renewal.

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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.”