Archive | November, 2012

Berkeley’s Choice: Compassion or Repression

“I really think it’s a stupid measure and it’s not going to do anything to help people on the street,” said Jesse Arreguin of the Berkeley City Council. “It’s not going to solve homelessness, it’s not going to do anything to improve the plight of small businesses in our city.”

Read More Comments Off on Berkeley’s Choice: Compassion or Repression

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

“What an honor it was to accompany J. Fernandez to the United Nations and listen to him read his poem on a really big screen, and to see in front of the General Assembly the pictures of St. Mary’s Center and all of you. It was really inspiring and tear-provoking,” Carol Johnson said.

Read More Comments Off on International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

A Poet’s Journey from the Streets of Oakland to the United Nations

This man with the weatherworn face made me realize that people living in extreme poverty have to make a strong effort to dispel the darkness, especially now that our rights are being systematically stripped away. There’s an urgent need for us to speak up whenever and wherever we can.

Read More Comments Off on A Poet’s Journey from the Streets of Oakland to the United Nations

I Lived on Violent, Ruthless Streets

The streets where I lived were ruthless and frequently violent. I often suffered from hunger, and would go days without something to eat. There was violence almost every night — from shootings to robberies and rape. This caused me extreme fear. Every little noise, you wake up.

Read More Comments Off on I Lived on Violent, Ruthless Streets

No Proof of Correlation Between Homelessness and Business Decline

Kriss Worthington denounced Measure S as immoral and a diversion from the issues of homelessness and poverty. Sales taxes have declined the most in places with a smaller concentration of homelessness. This gives the lie to the repeated efforts by some business owners to blame homeless people for declining profits.

Read More Comments Off on No Proof of Correlation Between Homelessness and Business Decline

A Real Poem

Whether you’re in prison in New York/ or a detention camp in the fields of Nebraska/ I am you/ Whether you’re sleeping on a square
of cardboard in Oakland/ or under a grid in Philadelphia/ I am you/ I am in every living pulsating cell/ that hungers for justice

Read More Comments Off on A Real Poem

The Bonds of Love: Cast Off on the Street, Homeless People and Abandoned Pets Take Care of Each Other

It is remarkable to see the reciprocal acts of kindness and love shared between unsheltered people and unwanted animals. Many homeless persons refuse to go into emergency shelters if their pets cannot go with them — sacrificing their own well-being and safety for the animal they have come to love.

Read More Comments Off on The Bonds of Love: Cast Off on the Street, Homeless People and Abandoned Pets Take Care of Each Other

Finding an Abandoned Dog Led to Our New Home

The connection between homelessness and animals arose for me when I found my dog Clair on the street in downtown Berkeley’s business district after she’d been dumped out of a car. We found a home together. Clair was home to me for 17 years, and I was home to her.

Read More Comments Off on Finding an Abandoned Dog Led to Our New Home

How Berkeley Police Office #145 Protects and Serves the Public

A group of artists sketched a large chalk representation of “The Last Supper,” a painting by Leonardo da Vinci of Jesus eating at a table with his disciples. Across the top was the statement, “Let Us Sit Together and Break Bread.” It was a colorful protest against Berkeley’s proposed anti-sitting law.

Read More Comments Off on How Berkeley Police Office #145 Protects and Serves the Public

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.