Street Spirit is a publication of Youth Spirit Artworks (YSA)  that reports extensively on homelessness, poverty, economic inequality, welfare issues, human rights issues and the struggle for social justice. For over two decades, Street Spirit has been dedicated to empowering poor and homeless people and giving a voice to the voiceless, at a time when the voices of the poor are virtually locked out of the mainstream media. From 1995-2016 Street Spirit was a publication of the American Friends Service Committee.

Street Spirit provides more than 100 homeless vendors a positive alternative to panhandling, and to give our readers a progressive alternative to the corporate-controlled mainstream media. Help us remain an independent voice for justice! Please donate or subscribe to Street Spirit.

Street Spirit features investigative reporting about the alarming, nationwide wave of civil rights abuses and police repression targeted at homeless people. Our articles document the struggle for dignity and human rights by low-income psychiatric inmates, street youth, homeless women, welfare recipients, and poor seniors facing eviction. Street Spirit reports with a truly populist perspective from the shelters, back alleys, soup kitchen lines and slum hotels where mainstream reporters rarely or never visit – speaking truth to power and breaking the corporate media’s “vow of silence” about the growing disgrace of ever-widening poverty in the richest nation on earth.

Street Spirit’s reporting was responsible for alerting the public to widespread violations of low-income psychiatric patients at East Bay Hospital in Richmond, a hospital used as a dumping ground for homeless, poor and severely disabled people by nine Bay Area counties. As a testament to the power of the press, our reporting was instrumental in shutting down that notoriously abusive facility, the largest psychiatric hospital (until its closure) in Contra Costa County.

Street Spirit provides homeless people with a voice which cannot be found in the mainstream media. In our news coverage, commentary, art, and poetry, we focus on the crucial areas of concern which affect the daily lives and survival of the homeless poor. Just as importantly, the newspaper is distributed on the streets by homeless vendors, enabling them to earn a living to make it through these hard economic times.

All works copyrighted by the authors.
The views expressed in Street Spirit articles are those of the individual authors, not necessarily those of the YSA.

Street Spirit welcomes submissions of articles, artwork, poems and photos.

Contact: Terry Messman
Street Spirit, YSA
1740 Alcatraz Avenue, near Adeline
Berkeley, CA 94703
tmessman@afsc.org
or
streetspiritnews@gmail.com

Resurrection of the Poor People’s Campaign

Rev. Barber told the activists gathered in the nation’s capital that by demonstrating in solidarity with poor people, they had become a link in the long history of people who fought for justice.

Hate Crime Laws Needed to Protect the Homeless

As homelessness becomes more visible, people living on the streets are targeted for bullying, assaults, harassment and even murders.

Life Is A Precious Gift: Mother Teresa’s House in Washington

We will never know how many huge pots of soup Jacob lifted with the sisters into trucks, to take to the homeless in the park. We will never know how many diseased bodies he fed, held and bathed, and the number of tears he dried in the early morning hours.

Mother Teresa’s Gift of Love in San Francisco

She took home with her the men who had only a few days left to live and were suffering the most, and tenderly cared for them around the clock. I am certain some of the people I was meeting were angels, whose job was to make certain no soul died alone and unloved.

My Back Pages: A Song for Miss Kay

She softly sings the soul anthem “Stand By Me.” It is a song for Miss Kay, a song for all of us. Her life, with its music and joy, followed by a downward slide into homelessness and death, tells us something deeper than words about the human condition.

My Back Pages: Kerry’s Kids, An Undying Dream

Oakland pediatrician Dr. Karen Kruger said, “Kerry’s death was so sudden and seemingly purposeless and shocking that I think there was a need for people that loved her to carry on her memory in a way that she would look down on from her cloud and be happy about.”