Archive | March, 2014

A Poet Finds Moral Beauty in the Lives of the Poor

Peter Marin’s poetry portrays the lives of homeless people as sources of great artistic beauty. Marin sees nobility disguised under shabby overcoats and finds beauty hidden inside cardboard shacks, in the people that America forgot.

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The National Council of Elders Plants the Seeds of Freedom

There is a flower in Africa that blooms every 80 years. Imagine yourself planting seeds that may not bloom in your lifetime. But continue to water it even if it does not bloom in your lifetime.

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The Street Spirit Interview with Peter Marin

This is what the government must do: Leave all the war stuff aside, leave the NSA stuff aside, and the billions spent on this by the government. The very first thing, beyond everything else, should be housing, damn it. It goes without question because it is so necessary for human survival.

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Transfiguring Beauty: The Poetry of Peter Marin

Peter Marin’s poetry illuminates and transfigures, enabling us to see the sacred beauty of people living on the streets all around us. In a land where homeless people are shunned and persecuted, it is a revolutionary act when a poet finds beauty in their lives, and restores their stolen dignity.

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Renewing the Struggle for Civil Rights

The planet is speaking and too few are listening. The poor are weeping and too few are concerned. The despised and rejected of men are incarcerated and deported. The Guantanamo gulag still exists. Drone warfare continues unabated. The economic devastation caused by the uber-rich is paid for by the struggling poor.

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Lawmakers Bludgeon the Food Stamp Program

The Farm Bill includes massive cuts to the food stamp program that will affect about 47 million people living in poverty. Food stamp recipients will receive 90 dollars less per month when the cuts take effect, and in California alone, some 700,000 people in poverty will see their benefits shrink.

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Homeless People in San Francisco Can Phone in for Shelter Beds

Homeless people may use the 311 telephone system to reserve a bed for up to 90 days, using a unique identifying number to determine their spot on a waitlist. This method aims to move homeless people away from lining up at resource centers before they open, sometimes by sleeping outside overnight.

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A Celebration of Hepatitis C Awareness Week in Oakland

Hepatitis C has been a “silent killer” for decades, affecting millions of people, including many unaware that they have this potentially life threatening disease. This year Hepatitis C Awareness Week is more important than ever, because there are new treatments that are saving lives. Hepatitis C is now curable.

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Building a New Movement for Full Employment

If the federal government can figure out how to rescue Wall Street, it has a moral obligation to figure out how to rescue Main Street. Two-thirds of the American people believe the government in Washington ought to see to it that everyone who wants to work can find a job.

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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.