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About Street Spirit



Street Spirit is a publication of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) that reports extensively on homelessness, poverty, economic inequality, welfare issues, human rights issues and the struggle for social justice. For the past 10 years, 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.

American Friends Service Committee shoulders the entire printing costs of more than $3,000 per month to give our 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 an alarming new wave of civil rights abuses and police harassment 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.

Street Spirit is more than a newspaper -- it is a community. And you, the reader, can be part of this community by your support. Street Spirit is a tool of enabling and empowering, not just a handout. Please help us continue this crucial work by donating to Street Spirit or subscribing for $25 per year. Donate or Subscribe to Street Spirit.

The American Friends Service Committee

Street Spirit is a publication of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). The AFSC was founded by Quakers in 1917 to provide conscientious objectors an opportunity to aid civilian victims during World War I. Today it carries on programs of service, social justice, and peace education in 22 foreign countries and 43 areas in the United States.

In 1947, the AFSC and Friends Service of Britain together received the Nobel Peace Prize for their "silent help from the nameless to the nameless." AFSC seeks to address the root causes of poverty, injustice, and war. We are called to confront, nonviolently, powerful institutions of oppression, violence and injustice.

The AFSC believes that people can change the world. Our job is to share skills, staff, and resources, and help communities organize. Once we get involved, we tend to stay: 45 years with farm workers in the Central Valley, 50 years in the California prison system, 50 years with the American Indian Community, 20 years with homeless people in the Bay Area, 30 years working for Middle East peace between Christians, Muslims and Jews.

To contact AFSC, call (415) 565-0201. Write to: American Friends Service Committee, 65 Ninth Street, San Francisco, CA 94103




1515 Webster St,#303
Oakland, CA 94612

© 2002-2005 STREET SPIRIT. All rights reserved.

Published by American Friends Service Committee
Editor, Layout, Design:
Terry Messman
, editor
Robert Mills, web weaver