Archive | October, 2015

Broken Windows Policing Breaks Lives Apart

We will continue our organizing efforts against the Business Improvement Districts and anyone who encourages police harassment and incarceration of poor and homeless people. We are not broken windows and we will continue to fight this violent system trying to break us until we are all free.

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Feminist Icons of Resistance

“We are reclaiming our history—remembering all those founding mothers, all those women who kept the movement going without credit for so long, all the contributions we women have made and undervalued.” — Shelley Douglass

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Interweaving Peace and Women’s Rights

“The feminism that I believe in is a defense of all life. Not only women, not only the earth, but all together. It’s all reweaving the web.” — Shelley Douglass

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The Persecution of the Peacemakers

There was just a sense that Archbishop Hunthausen was a holy person. He really stood for what he believed and he took a lot of flak for it. He stood for people who were disenfranchised, and he stood for people who were poor. He stood for an end to the arms race.

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Youth Spirit Artworks: More Than a Paintbrush

It’s hard to quantify the values of hope and beauty. How do you measure what happens to someone creating art for the first time? YSA’s mission is to use art and jobs training to transform the lives of low-income and homeless youth to ensure that they meet their full potential.

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Los Angeles and Portland Declare Housing Emergencies

When countless people are living on the street, when there’s no state in the union where workers making minimum wage can afford market-rate housing, and when hundreds of thousands of school children are living in cars and trying to do homework in the dark, we have an emergency.

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The Movement to Stop the Militarization of Police

At Urban Shield’s vendor expo, a hundred companies sell military grade weapons and surveillance equipment to local police departments. As much as organizers claim Urban Shield is about saving lives, the focus on guns and death is overwhelming. City agencies should not participate in an exercise that militarizes the police.

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The Cost of Anti-Homeless Laws Just Went Up by $1.9 Billion

HUD just added a high cost to the growing federal pressures against cities that criminalize homelessness. Cities that enforce anti-homeless laws risk losing $1.9 billion nationwide from federal homelessness funding. For the first time HUD is asking applicants to “describe how they are reducing criminalization of homelessness.”

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How Homelessness Is Distorted in the Media

Many viewers of the morning news don’t think twice when they hear about the thousands without homes because these individuals are no longer portrayed as people with feelings and ideas. Instead, they are numbers. We see people turned into statistics because they are easier to compute that way.

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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.