Archive | January, 2014

How We Found a Safe Haven at the Albany Bulb

Once-respectable environmental activists have shown their preference for “parks over poor people” again and again. They refuse to acknowledge that pushing for the eviction of homeless people goes against their own environmental justice policy. And rather than using the “Housing First” model, the City Council has chosen the “eviction first” approach.

Read More Comments Off on How We Found a Safe Haven at the Albany Bulb

St. Mary’s Center Honors the Countless Lives Lost on the Streets

These reflections from the Homeless Memorial held at St. Mary’s Center in December 2013, are in honor of those who died on the streets of the East Bay. We must remember the people who died homeless and poor and reclaim our awareness of the sanctity and dignity of every human life.

Read More Comments Off on St. Mary’s Center Honors the Countless Lives Lost on the Streets

The Moral Beauty of Acts of Goodness and Justice

Wherever we find love, courage, sacrifice, generosity of spirit, resistance to injustice and a faith kept with others — ah, it is there that beauty appears, shining forth. Many “ordinary” people manage, perhaps in lesser ways than did Mandela, but not unlike him, to bring the Good into the world through their courage and devotion.

Read More Comments Off on The Moral Beauty of Acts of Goodness and Justice

Nelson Mandela Always Focused on Building a Better World for All

“As poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest… Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.” — Nelson Mandela

Read More Comments Off on Nelson Mandela Always Focused on Building a Better World for All

Albany’s Inhumane and Irresponsible Eviction Plans

Even while Albany has refused to develop any housing, shelter beds or homeless services at all, for the past 14 years, homeless people have been camping on the Albany Landfill, taking care of the land, cleaning up construction debris, planting trees, creating works of art, and making it their home.

Read More Comments Off on Albany’s Inhumane and Irresponsible Eviction Plans

‘Follow Your Passion’: Philip Rosheger’s Lifelong Love of Music

“He was a musical angel,” said Suzanne Sastre. “His head was in the clouds or somewhere magical.” This man who would have given anyone the shirt off his back left very little behind except that same starry look in the faces of those who knew him, heard him, and loved him.

Read More Comments Off on ‘Follow Your Passion’: Philip Rosheger’s Lifelong Love of Music

It Is Socially Acceptable to Discriminate Against Disabled Persons in Employment and Housing

It remains socially acceptable to pick on people with mental disabilities. We are discriminated against in employment and in housing. We are essentially forced into segregation kept from participating in mainstream society. We are forced to live on meager incomes. We have been criminalized, locked-up, humiliated, overmedicated, shunned and abused.

Read More Comments Off on It Is Socially Acceptable to Discriminate Against Disabled Persons in Employment and Housing

A Missing Mother: The Transfer

“I remember staring at barbed wire and armed sentries,” Yuki said. “I remember being engulfed by scattering dust in the whirling wind. I remember laying in my bed at the Topaz internment camp wishing I could raise my voice and say people should not be mean to one another.”

Read More Comments Off on A Missing Mother: The Transfer

The Poverty Line

More enforcement droids were coming with their weapons readied. But people had taken enough. Those who had been waiting in the long line so that they could continue their meager existences were angry. They surged at the enforcement droids and collectively smashed them to bits in a process of spontaneous rebellion.

Read More Comments Off on The Poverty Line

Resurrection of the Poor People’s Campaign

Rev. Barber told the activists gathered in the nation’s capital that by demonstrating in solidarity with poor people, they had become a link in the long history of people who fought for justice.

Hate Crime Laws Needed to Protect the Homeless

As homelessness becomes more visible, people living on the streets are targeted for bullying, assaults, harassment and even murders.

Life Is A Precious Gift: Mother Teresa’s House in Washington

We will never know how many huge pots of soup Jacob lifted with the sisters into trucks, to take to the homeless in the park. We will never know how many diseased bodies he fed, held and bathed, and the number of tears he dried in the early morning hours.

Mother Teresa’s Gift of Love in San Francisco

She took home with her the men who had only a few days left to live and were suffering the most, and tenderly cared for them around the clock. I am certain some of the people I was meeting were angels, whose job was to make certain no soul died alone and unloved.

My Back Pages: A Song for Miss Kay

She softly sings the soul anthem “Stand By Me.” It is a song for Miss Kay, a song for all of us. Her life, with its music and joy, followed by a downward slide into homelessness and death, tells us something deeper than words about the human condition.

My Back Pages: Kerry’s Kids, An Undying Dream

Oakland pediatrician Dr. Karen Kruger said, “Kerry’s death was so sudden and seemingly purposeless and shocking that I think there was a need for people that loved her to carry on her memory in a way that she would look down on from her cloud and be happy about.”