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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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.