Archive | February, 2014

Igniting the Fight for the Homeless Bill of Rights

“We are not fighting for special rights but for the same rights that everyone else has. People who don’t have homes do not want to be arrested for sleeping, resting, sitting, because they have no private place to sleep, rest or sit!” — Jessica Bartholow, Western Center on Law and Poverty.

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Mary’s Luminous Spirit Shines On Brightly

Mary Rudge remains a luminous presence. She always championed the less-privileged, the beaten-down, and she was a vibrant peace activist who spoke against war at countless peace rallies. What a model of talent, grace and courage through adversity. We revere this poet’s ability to envision projects that enrich the human spirit.

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The Radiant Poetry of Mary Rudge

When she asks spare change/ but you pass by/ her only response is “God bless you”/ and a broken-toothed smile./ She shows you how hearts really break,/ can you feel your own?/ She lets you see a whole country with/ a government full of broken promises.

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Controversy Over Plans for Jail Expansion in San Francisco

Opponents of this jail expansion, including advocates for jail reform and Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), dispute the need for a new jail. They oppose the idea of spending millions on a new jail instead of on mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment and affordable housing.

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A Joyous Prescription for Living

Pat Boushell had the capacity to become completely immersed in the power of words, poems, songs, political and social possibilities and, of course, religion, which brought him a deep sense of connection, comfort and family. Pat treasured life’s gifts and saw the magic in a moment that can transform a soul.

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The Myth of Abundance Promoted by the Wealthy

It is a Republican-promulgated myth to say that anyone, if they try hard enough, can work their way up from poverty to become successful and prosperous. Yet, most people suffering from poverty do not have much chance at becoming a movie star, a best-selling author, or a business tycoon.

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The Connection Between Cruelty to Animals and the Inhumanity of War

“A dog starved at his Master’s Gate, Predicts the ruin of the State.” George Bernard Shaw and William Blake, two of the greatest writers in the English language, both spoke out in defense of the rights of poor and oppressed workers, the victims of warfare, and mistreated animals.

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THE SHELTER

He needed to put his affairs in order before disappearing. Earth was on the verge of being uninhabitable, and there would soon be an enormous die-off of most living creatures.. The underground country was a secret, and those destined to relocate there had to sneak out for fear of tipping off the masses.

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February Poetry of the Streets

The war on poverty’s just begun:/ yet two steps forward, four steps back./ The losers? City corners stun./ The war on poverty’s just begun?/ Yet safety nets are holey or none —/ anyone care to really keep track?/ The poverty war is just begun —/ two steps forward, four steps back.

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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.