Archive | November, 2013

Urvashi Vaid and the Irresistible Revolution

The contradiction between increased equal rights under the law and increased inequality in the economic realm means that many members of the LGBT community are left out of the supposed progress being made by the movement.

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Finding Refuge in Refuse at the Albany Landfill

Creative women and men have created a flourishing homestead dedicated to art, ecology and freedom at the Albany Bulb. The plants are wild, the art dotting every square inch of the peninsula is unsanctioned, and the residents embrace an alternative lifestyle. All these elements seem to be in harmony with one another.

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Impossible Dream or Irresistible Revolution? The Street Spirit Interview with Urvashi Vaid

Years ago, we could not have conceived of so many non-gay people standing up and being allies in this fight. It’s a shift from seeing us as sinful, immoral and dangerous, to seeing us as the people next door, as members of families, as somebody’s relatives.

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A Moment of Grace on the Road to Equality

So much depends upon the conscience of people like Grace and Urvashi. I see these two women — one at the beginning of her life, the other having spent 30 years working for social justice — as moral examples to all of us. It is a privilege to witness their lonely stand for justice.

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St. Mary’s Center Honors the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

So much sorrow, loneliness and compassion are contained in the homeless man’s words: “Watch my cart.” The illness of a lone man on the streets. The stark reality that a shopping cart holds a man’s sole possessions. The joy when other people begin to help, and the way their caring lessens loneliness.

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Prisoners Vow to Renew Their Fight for Human Rights

“No matter how many times the Department of Corrections tries to justify our suffering and dehumanization through character assassination and dirty political games, the whole world will watch and bear witness as we continue to show our unity by fighting for human rights in the most virtuous and honorable ways possible.”

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Thousands of Low-Income Tenants at Risk Due to Sequestration

An estimated 140,000 households will lose housing vouchers because of sequestration. The budget cuts also will shred Meals on Wheels for senior citizens, homelessness programs, public housing, and AIDS and HIV services. Thousands of low-income renters now are threatened with higher rent increases, or the possible loss of their vouchers.

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Mother Teresa’s Sisters Feed San Francisco’s Homeless

The sisters find hungry people under bridges, behind buildings, in doorways and other places where the invisible poor exist. They offer hot plates of food and remind them that they are loved by someone, even though the person sleeping next to them the night before may have died from cold and neglect.

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Is Music City Becoming the Meanest City in America?

The homeless situation in Nashville is far worse than city leaders pretend. Music City’s lack of affordable housing, and constant police harassment of homeless people, is a disgrace. There is literally nowhere for homeless people to sit, walk or go to the bathroom without fear of being arrested for trespassing.

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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.