Archive | June, 2014

On Our Way Home
Photographers Document Life on the Streets

Homeless photographers create an eye-opening exhibit to document the dire conditions endured by people living on the streets of Oakland.

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Photographers Document Life on the Streets

The State of Homelessness in San Francisco

Joe Wilson, program manager at Hospitality House, pointed out that public officials have chosen to disinvest in affordable housing for low-income people in favor of criminalizing them. “The largest developers of low-income housing are the California Department of Corrections and the U.S. Department of Justice,” he said.

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Santa Cruz Activists Call for Moratorium on Laws that Criminalize Camping and Sleeping

A woman named Butterfly packs her belongings in San Lorenzo Park in Santa Cruz. This photo was taken by Natalia Banaszczyk as part of a Santa Cruz project called “Not the Other: Oral Histories of People Experiencing Homelessness.”

Outlawing the right to sleep is a failed policy. We must not vilify a large segment of our community based solely on their housing status. The laws that prohibit “camping” and “sleeping” have been wholly ineffective in addressing the social impact of survival sleeping by homeless people in Santa Cruz.

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Our Daily Bread: A Film of Social Conscience

The movie poster for King Vidor’s cinematic indictment of the economic injustice of the Great Depression, “Our Daily Bread.”

King Vidor’s Depression-era film, “Our Daily Bread,” offered a utopian vision of social justice that championed the rights of workers. The vultures of the controlled press condemned it as anti-American. “Our Daily Bread” exposed economic injustice years before John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath put Tom Joad on the road.

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I Want Every Person to Have A Decent Life

I want everyone to have a decent life in America. People are running around hungry and homeless. People need to help one another. I got help and want others to get help too. I’m about giving. If I can advocate and play music for the benefit of other people, I will.

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They Care for the Lives of the People They Serve

“Coming Together to Eat.” People line up to eat at a church in Berkeley.

The staff at the church have a passion for people. They serve meals on a regular basis without pay. They wouldn’t show up unless they cared. Inside the church, people from all races come to eat. A balanced meal is served and fresh vegetables are available to take home.

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I Feel Connected to Their Suffering

Homeless people have the burden of carrying their belongings wherever they go; they do not want to lose their things. Carts with their life possessions can be seen throughout town. Homeless people often walk all day long to eat, be safe, and sleep. It is hard work and necessary.

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I’m Concerned for the Human Family

The spirit connects us. When I hear the truth of our shared life, I know I have a chance to survive and overcome adversity. When I see people who are homeless, I see a bit of myself. People need places where everyone is equal and recognized for their creativity and ability.

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Life Gets Better and Better Every Day

Susan Werner pins a boutonniere on Keith Arivnwine to honor his work as a photographer in documenting the conditions facing homeless people. Lydia Gans photo

Finally, I had a key in my hand for my own apartment. Every time I turn the key to open the door I feel appreciation and accomplishment. I’m now living where God wants me to be. I feel good about myself and fit into the lifestyle of being housed and mentally stable.

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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.”