Archive | July, 2011

An Inside View of a Housing Occupation

On a high-flying journey from the streets to the rooftops, activists in San Francisco carried out their latest direct action campaign by taking over the vacant Sierra Hotel, demanding it be used to house homeless people. VIEW A VIDEO OF THE HOUSING TAKEOVER WITHIN THIS STORY.

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Oakland Coalition Fights State’s Draconian Cutbacks

Oakland protesters rallied against severe cutbacks imposed by the State of California that will imperil low-income families, seniors, the disabled and poor children. Laurie Jones, director of Alameda County Social Services said, “These cuts hurt our families, they hurt our communities, they hurt our children, they hurt our most needy.”

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Young People Lead Protest at Berkeley City Hall

Homeless youth led a colorful protest at Berkeley City Hall, displaying scores of prayer flags in an appeal for compassion for homeless people targeted by a sitting-ban proposal. The Stand Up For The Right To Sit Down coalition scored at least a temporary victory by sending this proposal “to limbo.”

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Glimpses of the Spirit – Mia and the Circle of Kindness

After Dorothy’s pet cats saved her from a fire that destroyed her apartment, the elderly woman paid to have her cats housed even as she was left destitute and homeless. Mia was so moved by Dorothy’s compassion, she gave her the same kindness Dorothy had given to her cats.

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Help us Expose the Corporate Greed of Big Finance

Join social justice groups for a protest tour of the S.F. Financial District. March in the Great American TARP Tour, August 5 at 4 p.m., Union Square, San Francisco. Big Finance has swindled hundreds of billions of dollars by begging for an unconscionable bail-out via the Troubled Asset Relief Program, TARP.

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Helping Homeless, Jobless Veterans in Oakland

After serving in Vietnam, Alex McElree found out the hard way how many military veterans wind up living on the streets. He began taking homeless veterans into his own house, and then founded the Oakland-based Operation Dignity to help veterans find housing and support services.

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Bring ’em Home

Does the U.S. government “support the troops” when it sends them into battle with inadequate equipment? Does the government “support the troops” when it turns its back on the casualties of war? Does it “support the troops” when it casts countless military veterans onto the streets?

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Another Anti-Homeless Ballot Measure? Really?

Berkeley’s business improvement districts continue to obsessively pursue anti-homeless measures in an attempt to cleanse the downtown sidewalks of homeless people. Yet the last thing Berkeley’s small businesses need is another highly politicized and self-destructive campaign about how terrible it is to shop in Berkeley.

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AARP Sells Out the Elderly, Poor and Disabled

Even as 1.3 million elderly and disabled Californians had their SSI benefits slashed below the federal poverty level, the American Association of Retired Persons made national headlines after it double-crossed the elderly poor by joining right-wing members of Congress in supporting budget cuts to Social Security benefits.

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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.