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

Zahra’s Paradise: The Fate of the Disappeared

“Love is ultimately the force that conquers death. Love is where the resistance comes from. If we love one another, we will help one another.” — Amir Soltani

Elisa Cooper: On Fire for Justice

When I learned that Elisa Cooper had passed away, I cried. I felt that I had lost a comrade, a colleague, a fellow advocate on the front lines.

The System of Repression Is a Disaster

The depth of the love and resistance and solidarity and strength that keeps people going in the face of this horror is really incredible. Even with all the horrors and the violence that the state inflicts on people, still there is something about the human spirit that doesn’t surrender.

My Art Makes My Life Matter

“I create art as a way to bring love and faith to people who face hardship. My art is offered to uplift people who strive to overcome oppression. My art is for people who find strength and unity in our community’s historic and endless struggle for justice.” — Leon Kennedy

Trump’s Plan to Slash Affordable Housing

Trump plans massive cuts to HUD’s low-income housing, yet proposes billions more in federal subsidies that benefit banks, realtors and homeowners. All this pain and suffering so that HUD’s budget can be reduced to $40.7 billion while homeowner subsidies are expected to rise to $162.5 billion.

Homeless in Santa Cruz Pushed Out of Public Spaces

These new restrictions have prompted many homeless residents and supporters to consider ways to push back as they desperately try to hold onto one of the last public gathering spots available to them since they were deemed persona non grata in San Lorenzo Park and the river levee area.