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

A Life Consecrated to Compassion and Justice

On the bleak streets of the Tenderloin, a sister took a stand against inhumanity. Her solidarity was inspired by the beatitudes and consecrated to the poor.

The Invisible Natural Cathedral of People’s Park

Builders, please go away. Allow the beauty of an Invisible Natural Cathedral to remain, a living shrine of open space that gives refuge to all people.

Street Spirit Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin

This atrocity was happening in a very wealthy city. It was happening right under our noses. It was very visible. And there was not the united voice of the faith community speaking out. That was the spark of Religious Witness. From that moment, I knew what I had to do.

Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin, Part Two

“What’s forming in my mind is Jesus in the temple when he became angry at the unjust and very exclusive systems of society. That is the very reason that there are the poor and the marginalized. It is not enough just to provide food, clothing and housing.”

‘Such Is the Magic and Spirit of People’s Park’

The mayor has no understanding of the awful defeat the loss of People’s Park would be. No comprehension of the cost in lives and the sacrifices people have made for the Park’s ideals. So many still find it a refuge in a country needing a political and spiritual overhaul.

I Remember Who I Am

“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.