Archive | May, 2016

Love in Every Frame

In a society that blames poverty on the poor, Dogtown Redemption shines a light on the resourcefulness, complexity, caring, and humanity found in the homeless recyclers Jason, Langdon and Miss Kay — often in greater measure than can be found in those much more fortunate. There is love in every frame.

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Treating Homeless Recyclers Like Human Beings

They worked harder than anyone I have ever seen. They took tons of recyclables carelessly thrown in the trash and kept them out of the landfill and put them back into circulation. They saved trees, natural habitat and the energy it takes to make aluminum, glass and paper from raw materials.

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Street Spirit’s Partnership with Dogtown Redemption

Dogtown Redemption takes us on a journey through a landscape of love and loss, devotion and addiction, prejudice and poverty. The story of the three recyclers—Jason, Landon and Hayok—provides a rare glimpse into the conflicts over race, class and space shaping Oakland and other American cities.

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Oakland Recycler Discovers New Hope on the Street

When I entered St. Mary’s shelter, I had nothing but the clothes on my back and the desire to change. I no longer wanted that homeless lifestyle, and buggy-pushing. I had to take the time to be reborn from within. I want to show people they have a choice.

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Oakland Is in the Throes of a Housing Crisis

Oakland faces a housing crisis that has displaced thousands and more than doubled the number of residents who are homeless and unhoused. While the City struggles to rebound from the recession, redevelopment funds have been stripped, federal HUD money is rapidly shrinking and legislators are struggling to find resources.

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Film Reveals the Humanity of People on the Street

In Dogtown Redemption, we learn to care about the lives of recyclers, celebrate their successes, and mourn their losses. The film shows those of us who haven’t had to collect cans to buy food, and don’t have to sleep in a makeshift tent, what life is like for those who do.

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Desperate Lives of Scavengers on a Harsh Streetscape

The shopping carts are operated by “drivers” making only a subsistence wage, receiving no health care, sick leave or vacation. Their low wages are a poor excuse for an assistance program. We root for them to thrive at it, at the same time we pray they can escape from it.

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A Source of Income to Oakland’s Most Downtrodden

Those experiencing homelessness are viewed as squatters, occupying lands they don’t own. They collect the modern-day gold of the streets — recyclable materials including metals, glass, plastic and aluminum cans — hoping to earn an honest, independent living. Most are being pushed out by forces that are out of their control.

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Dogtown Redemption Changes Your View of the World

Dogtown Redemption is an emotional testament to the humanity and perseverance of the recyclers and should enable all viewers to see the people behind the carts. Their personal circumstances are beyond challenging, but their tenacity and sheer strength as they navigate the streets of Oakland demand our admiration and respect.

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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.