Archive | March, 2016

Tiny Houses: A New Vision of Home

Many are interested in tiny houses for the homeless community. “I hope it’s the beginning of an upswell of community support to get this tiny homes program under way in Berkeley. It seems that there is a possibility we can do that.”

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21 years of Street Spirit: Justice News and Homeless Blues

This month, Street Spirit turns twenty-one years old. To celebrate, we are launching our new podcast series with an interview with co-founder Terry Messman about the history of Street Spirit’s advocacy journalism. We also reprint an article about Street Spirit by Lily Kley, originally published FoundSF a project of Shaping San Francisco.

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The Media War on Homeless People in S.F.

The Chronicle has temporarily won its media war on homeless people by portraying the mayor and the city government as the underdog, while poor people suffering the effects of the housing crisis are portrayed as stubbornly unwilling to be part of the one percent’s good fortune.

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Right to Rest Campaign Rejected in Sacramento, March 29, 2016

Everyone Deserves a Right to Rest

The Right to Rest Campaign is defending the human rights of homeless people by supporting legislation in California, Colorado and Oregon to decriminalize homelessness. These Bills would protect the rights of homeless people to move freely, rest, eat, and perform religious observations in public space as well as protect their right to occupy a legally parked motor vehicle.

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Intentional Homeless Community in Berkeley

Business owners grow uneasy when homeless people organize and use the creative tactics of the labor and civil rights movements. Homeless people in Berkeley did just that by organizing occupations.

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Reflections on Homelessness in Oakland

Martin Luther King said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” If people know their history, King’s Poor People’s March, completed after his death, has not resulted in a society where all citizens matter, especially black men, the majority of men seen on Oakland streets.

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Day of Reckoning for Right to Sleep in Santa Cruz

This is a call to conscience for the entire community to support the progressive decriminalization of homelessness in Santa Cruz. Our proposed amendment in support of the Right to Sleep removes references to the act of sleeping and the use of blankets in the camping section of the Municipal Code.

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The Struggle for Renter Protections in Richmond

“Richmond’s rents, like rents all across the Bay Area, are rising sky high, causing much hardship and displacement. It’s very important to slow down this tide of rising rents. We don’t want outrageously high rent increases to continue, such that more and more struggling renters are forced out of our city.”

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You’re Stronger Than You Know

If you’re homeless, blind with fear and sick down to your soles, broken down and so alone you want to crawl out of your skin and be someone else, somewhere else, look my way and know: I’m that voice that flows from your heart that says you’re stronger and more than you know.

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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.