The July 2005 Edition of Street Spirit

A publication of the American Friends Service Committee


National AFSC AFSC Economic Justice BOSS Website



In this issue:

Oakland Youth Organize

Hate Crimes Against the Homeless

Food Bank Helps Ease Hunger

Food Bank Keeps Growing

San Diego's Economic Cleansing

Psychiatric Abuse and Repression

Transit Activists Win Victory

Technology for the Poor

Violent Arrest at City Hall

The Dream of People's Park

New Richmond Shelter to Open

Street Spirit Vendor Tony McNair

Bush's Tax Cuts for the Rich

Corporate Benedict Arnolds

Rain Lane's Photographs

"Say Something" A Short Story

Poor Leonard's Almanack

Poetry of the Streets


June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005






Street Spirit is published by American Friends Service Committee.

All works are copyrighted by the authors.

The views expressed in Street Spirit are those of the individual authors alone, and not necessarily that of the American Friends Service Committee.

New Homeless Shelter to Open in Richmond

by Dorothy Herzberg

It's really happening! After four years of planning and raising $2.6 million, the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) has broken ground on the new GRIP Family Housing and Supportive Services Center. The two-story facility will provide emergency and transitional housing for 75 homeless people. The building will also serve as a resource center for 200 people a day and house the Souper Center meal program.

The 12,000-square-feet facility will be built at 165 22nd Street in Richmond, and construction is projected to take about one year. Funds have been raised from city, county and state sources, foundations, congregations and private donors.

GRIP is a coalition of 39 congregations in West Contra Costa County -- Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Protestants and Sikhs. These diverse faith traditions have worked together for more than 38 years for social justice and to support the needs of the poor and disenfranchised.

For more than 20 years, GRIP has operated the Souper Center at 165 22nd Street, providing lunch for homeless and hungry persons 365 days a year, with the help of volunteers from member congregations. GRIP has run a winter shelter for homeless families for 12 years; about 20 families have been guests of the shelter each year. GRIP's West County Resource Center helps homeless individuals and families to become self-sufficient by providing access to jobs and housing and referrals to support services.

During construction of the new facility, the Souper Center will provide noon meals at the West County Human Development Center at 820 23rd Street, Richmond. The Resource Center, which currently provides support services, will be temporarily located at 170 21st Street, adjacent to the current Souper Center.

It has been a dream to have a permanent, year-round shelter for many years. At the recent groundbreaking on June 10, congregations came together with government officials to celebrate the realization of the dream. It's really happening!

Dorothy Herzberg is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley. For additional information, contact Arthur Hatchett at (510) 233-2131.

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