Archive | April, 2014

The Visionary Folk Art of Leon Kennedy

Leon Kennedy loves to paint the faces of those who matter most to him. “I love to see a picture of the beauty of old faces, young faces, all colors. Everyone has their own beauty, everyone has character.”

Read More Comments Off on The Visionary Folk Art of Leon Kennedy

Human Face of Homelessness at Expressions Gallery

In a city that persecutes and banishes people on the streets, Expressions Gallery is a sanctuary that welcomed homeless artists and honored their creative work.

Read More Comments Off on Human Face of Homelessness at Expressions Gallery

U.N. Human Rights Committee Calls Criminalization of Homelessness ‘Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading’

“I’m just simply baffled by the idea that people can be without shelter in a country, and then be treated as criminals for being without shelter,” said Sir Nigel Rodley. The U.N. Human Rights Committee condemned the criminalization of homelessness in the U.S. as a violation of international human rights.

Read More Comments Off on U.N. Human Rights Committee Calls Criminalization of Homelessness ‘Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading’

How Change Happens: The Immigration Uprising

In Tucson, San Francisco, Phoenix and Chicago, people sat down in front of ICE buses and vans, and chained themselves to vehicles to block deportations. County supervisors in Los Angeles and San Francisco passed resolutions demanding a moratorium on the huge wave of deportations — two million people in five years.

Read More Comments Off on How Change Happens: The Immigration Uprising

Corporate Billionaires Take Over Berkeley Public Housing

I was pressured out of my public housing after living in Berkeley’s public housing for much of my life. I was pressured out and have been made homeless. I had to move in with some of my relatives to avoid living on the streets.” — Terry Pete, former public housing tenant

Read More Comments Off on Corporate Billionaires Take Over Berkeley Public Housing

Vehicle Dwellers Will Be Driven Out by Van Ban in S.F.

“In my mind, this is displacement,” said Nick Kamura. “It’s just not getting to the root of the problem, and the problem is people living in their vehicles, and they’re being criminalized for it.” The migration of vehicularly housed people after the ban’s initial phase signifies a failure in homeless policy.

Read More Comments Off on Vehicle Dwellers Will Be Driven Out by Van Ban in S.F.

‘Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out’

When someone is homeless or down and out, they become a target for abuse, partly because people believe that there will be no retribution or punishment, and perhaps because the individual is often too helpless to fight back. Bullying in society often is directed at people who have suffered misfortune.

Read More Comments Off on ‘Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out’

Poetry of the Streets

How can we be housed and sleep at night when our brothers have no homes? How can we be housed and sleep at night when our sisters sleep on stones? What happened to the home we shared inside God’s heart? Whatever drove that home to vacancy drove us apart.

Read More Comments Off on Poetry of the Streets

Jimmy Lee’s Blues

Stefa had told him that people were meant to sleep indoors and urged him to find a way to get off the street. She was so right. He had been on the street too long. He needed to talk to her and all he could do was curse at the wind.

Read More Comments Off on Jimmy Lee’s Blues

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.”