Archive | July, 2013

How Green Was My Peninsula: Homeless People Face Mass Eviction in Albany

Despite their efforts to keep the land green, homeless people once again face eviction from the Albany Bulb. Advocates argue that Albany officials cannot evict the homeless encampment without providing alternative shelter. Yet, for the past 15 years, Albany has had no homeless shelters at all for its unsheltered citizens.

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Fallout from Sequestration: Massive Budget Cuts Jeopardize Public Housing

At a time of rising poverty, the huge federal budget cuts known as sequestration will eliminate many units of low-income housing desperately needed by the nation’s poorest people. At the same time, the salaries of nonprofit housing executives continue to rise ever higher, reducing the scant funds available for housing.

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The Fast Against the Firings and ‘Silent Raids’

“These families have done nothing wrong. They’re being punished for working, which is what people in our community are supposed to do. We will not allow workers to be treated as though they are invisible. Being terminated because of immigration status is a violation of their human and civil rights.” — Rev. Phil Lawson

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New Momentum Around the Nation to Pass ‘Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights’

More and more cities across the country are criminalizing homelessness by outlawing sitting and lying on sidewalks, panhandling, sleeping outdoors and other essential, life-sustaining acts. In order to protect homeless people from discrimination, lawmakers in Connecticut and Illinois are following Rhode Island’s lead in passing Homeless Bills of Rights.

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A Homeless Woman Stands Up for Free Speech and Freedom of the Press

Those of us out on the streets, who are fighting for our lives, are at the heart of what this country stands for — the right to be “We the People.” We are the reason this country exists. It was on our backs that the 1% built their empires, with our hard labor, blood, sweat and tears.

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The Rapacious Investment Schemes of the Rich

Let’s demand a law that protects us from the rapacious investment schemes of the rich, and limits their investments in housing. The rich can go on speculating in the racehorse market, the art market, the market for big diamonds and fancy boats, but not our housing, which is a human necessity.

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The Military-Internet Complex and the Surveillance State

“The capacity of the government to engage in constant surreptitious monitoring of all civilians has been greatly enhanced by the commercialization of the Internet,” said media analyst Robert McChesney. “The commercialized Internet, far from producing competition, has generated the greatest wave of monopoly in the history of capitalism.”

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Here Come the Men in Gray

The men in gray uniforms arrived and restrained the errant man. One of them jabbed him in the neck with a hypodermic needle and pushed the plunger home. The violator immediately went pale and rigid. The two men roughly threw the now deceased violator into the back of their truck and drove away.

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The Professor

He had been a professor of classics at a small southern college before the nightmare frame-up and 10 years on prison. A model inmate, he received an early release, but not early enough to attend the funeral of his only son, Isiah, an innocent bystander killed in a crossfire of gang violence.

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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.