Archive | April, 2015

Stories from the Suitcase Clinic

The Suitcase Clinic began when a group of UC students gave medical aid out of suitcases at the Berkeley Flea Market to homeless individuals. Great value is placed on truly listening and it is in these dialogues of love and understanding that the heart of the Suitcase Clinic lies.

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The Poet, the Police, and the Spirit of the Sixties

“There was going to be a big demonstration the next day — people throwing things and stuff. Everybody was angry and I was just as angry as anybody else, but I was a pacifist and besides, if I threw anything, I’d probably hit my foot.” — Julia Vinograd

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Three Generations

One day a child was laid in my arms/ My first born, a daughter who looked like me,/ Who showed me unconditional love,/ This was a beautiful new experience/ To have a daughter,/ I was changed to my core … I was transformed/ I became somebody’s mama.

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The Poor Get Prison: How the U.S. Criminalizes Poverty

A new Institute for Policy Studies report, “The Poor Get Prison,” declares: “A democratic society that purports ‘freedom and justice for all’ can’t coexist with one that profiles, criminalizes and blames poor, black and Latino communities. We need to take collective responsibility for our hostile nation where the poor get prison.”

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Republicans Cuts Will Harm the Hungry, Poor and Disabled

If approved by the full House and Senate, the massive budget reductions will amount to more than $500 billion in cuts per year to the federal government’s domestic programs during the next ten years, totally counter to President Obama’s recent budget proposals that would fund domestic programs in FY 2016.

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Colorado Right to Rest Loses Committee Vote

Billie Bramhall with a “Move Along to Where?” button. In the background, an advocate of the bill weeps. Photo by Tessa Cheek.

by Tessa Cheek Source:  Colorado Independent “Shame!” “Shame!” cried a man in the back of the Capitol’s largest, packed committee room. The vote was not yet tallied, but it was clear: The Homeless Bill of Rights was failing. A sergeant-at-arms escorted the man from the room. Other protestors replaced him.The final votes were announced. The bill […]

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Right to Rest Coalition Looks to Build Support over Next Year for Legislation Protecting the Civil Rights of Homeless Individuals

Right to Rest Poster. Artwork by Ronnie Goodman

Homeless , anti-poverty, and civil rights advocacy groups will keep working throughout the rest of the 2015-2016 legislative session to pass a bill aimed at stopping the growing criminalization of people who are homeless.

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Angel McClain: “Right to Rest” Testimony April 7, 2015

Angie McCain Testifies at April 7 Hearing on SB 608

I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to you in support of Senator Carol Lui’s SB608, the Right to Rest Act. My name is Angel McClain and I am a Senior Advocate for Hope and Justice for St. Mary’s Center. St. Mary’s Center is a senior service provider in West Oakland who helps me […]

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Brown’s Budget Cuts Devastate the Poor and Disabled

Art by Christa Occhiogrosso

Gov. Brown’s cutbacks will cause suffering from the cradle to the grave. They will fall with devastating force on the poor, disabled, elderly, students and families with young children.

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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.