Archive | January, 2015

Are Homeless People Beautiful?

We all find sunsets and meadowlarks and fields of flowers beautiful, whether we are rich or poor, housed or homeless. How did beauty become a cudgel to beat people up?

Read More Comments Off on Are Homeless People Beautiful?

Silicon Valley’s Brilliant Design: Homeless Families in the Rain

Developers and Silicon Valley billionaires are so busy trying to milk profits out of our communities they don’t see the inevitable result of ignoring people’s housing needs: Families in the rain.

Read More Comments Off on Silicon Valley’s Brilliant Design: Homeless Families in the Rain

The Eviction of America’s Largest Homeless Camp

The Jungle was lodged in the heart of the venture-capital drenched Silicon Valley, 10 miles from the headquarters of the world’s most profitable corporation. It is important to remember that those living in the Jungle were not there “by choice,” but because they had nowhere else to go.

Read More Comments Off on The Eviction of America’s Largest Homeless Camp

Gentrification Is Making Us Sick

Oakland activists are working with the Public Health Department to create a vision of healthy development without displacement. Also, Just Cause won a landmark victory with the Tenant Protection Ordinance that will protect thousands of tenants from harassment by landlords — the first protection for Oakland tenants in more than a decade.

Read More Comments Off on Gentrification Is Making Us Sick

Remember the Children Born On Our Streets

The International Day for Human Rights, held at St. Mary’s Center, was an occasion to honor the memory of people who had died homeless on our city streets during the past year. But more than that, it was a time to reaffirm a commitment to the fight for social change.

Read More Comments Off on Remember the Children Born On Our Streets

Dave Ferguson’s Lifelong Mission of Opening Doors

Dave Ferguson gave his entire life in service to the poorest of the poor. He was the director of the Open Door Mission in Oakland for 41 years.

“Dave has been constant, like a rock, offering the welcome, free food — and basic human kindness to everyone,” said Susan Werner. The message for all who are hungry and homeless, and who need not just food and shelter, but love and support, is that Dave Ferguson’s spirit continues to live.

Read More Comments Off on Dave Ferguson’s Lifelong Mission of Opening Doors

New Vision of a ‘Camp of Last Resort’ in Santa Cruz

The proposal for a “Camp of Last Resort” was created in response to the lack of permanent housing for homeless people in Santa Cruz. Supporters believe that such a camp will provide shelter for some of the thousands who are illegally hunkering down on streets, trails or along the river.

Read More Comments Off on New Vision of a ‘Camp of Last Resort’ in Santa Cruz

January Poetry of the Streets

A homeless woman sets up a lonely camp on the side of the road in Santa Cruz.

Outside our window/ We spot on a rain-stripped/ eucalyptus trunk/ colors we’ve never seen,/ before: shades of yellow,/ gold, lime green, tan./ A homeless woman/ stripped of an easy life/ also reveals colors/ when we pause long, enough to sense and see.

Read More Comments Off on January Poetry of the Streets

Berkeley shelter closes

The closure of the largest homeless shelter in Berkeley leaves many with nowhere to go

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.