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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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.”

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.

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.”

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.

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.