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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A Life Consecrated to Compassion and Justice

On the bleak streets of the Tenderloin, a sister took a stand against inhumanity. Her solidarity was inspired by the beatitudes and consecrated to the poor.

The Invisible Natural Cathedral of People’s Park

Builders, please go away. Allow the beauty of an Invisible Natural Cathedral to remain, a living shrine of open space that gives refuge to all people.

Street Spirit Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin

This atrocity was happening in a very wealthy city. It was happening right under our noses. It was very visible. And there was not the united voice of the faith community speaking out. That was the spark of Religious Witness. From that moment, I knew what I had to do.

Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin, Part Two

“What’s forming in my mind is Jesus in the temple when he became angry at the unjust and very exclusive systems of society. That is the very reason that there are the poor and the marginalized. It is not enough just to provide food, clothing and housing.”

‘Such Is the Magic and Spirit of People’s Park’

The mayor has no understanding of the awful defeat the loss of People’s Park would be. No comprehension of the cost in lives and the sacrifices people have made for the Park’s ideals. So many still find it a refuge in a country needing a political and spiritual overhaul.

I Remember Who I Am

“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.