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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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‘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.

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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.

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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.

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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.