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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Society’s Failure to Care Is the Root of Homelessness

In one of the richest places in the world, people become so wrapped up in their own comfort and status that they don’t care about the human beings they are stepping over.

Visionary Art of Leon Kennedy

In Leon Kennedy’s painting, his living friends are portrayed next to long-gone elders and assassinated civil rights leaders. Even death does not shatter the bonds of love and community.

Welcome to Homelessness

The worst thing about homelessness, I sensed, would have nothing to do with bad weather, hunger or sleep deprivation. It would be the way I soon would be cast out like a leper, as though one would contract a deadly disease just from being in my presence.

Big Money Spends a Fortune to Fight Rent Control

Wealthy landlords, realtors and developers have teamed up and are spending a fortune to fight the efforts of renters to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act, the law that severely limits the rent control options of California cities. Tenants have also launched rent control campaigns in 10 California cities.

Vicious and Cruel Assault on the Poorest of the Poor

Elected leaders of the national tenants union denounced the housing bill proposed by HUD Secretary Ben Carson as a vicious and cruel assault on the poorest of the poor. “Millions will be displaced if these deeply cruel proposals see the light of day. Congress should reject them out of hand.”

The DBA’s Assault on Free Speech in Berkeley

The DBA launched a new poster destruction policy, despite being warned it was unconstitutional by the City Attorney. Tearing down fliers is a textbook example of a free speech violation. No one has the right to make content-based distinctions about what is allowed to be posted or said in legal, public places.