An Anthem for Those Who Are Homeless

Sometimes at night, you recall who you once were. You were a kid and played with other kids. You had a mother and a father. You wanted to be a firefighter or an astronaut. You were loved. And in your darkest imaginings, you could never have seen yourself come to this place.

by Steve Pleich

It’s a full-time job being homeless. It’s a full-time job being poor. That’s what those who say the homeless should just go out and get jobs fail to understand.

You already have a job, and that job is surviving. You have to get in line early for food and even earlier for a place to sleep.

You carry everything you own on your back and when your clothes wear out, you spend all your time searching for replacements.

You only have so much energy to expend because you have only so much food to fuel your body. Most of the time, you’re tired and you’re sore and your clothes are damp.

But sometimes at night, you recall who you once were.

You were a kid and played with other kids. You had a mother and a father.

You wanted to be an engineer or a firefighter or an astronaut.

You were loved and loved in return.

You were a family.

And in your darkest imaginings, you could never have seen yourself come to this place.

You are homeless. You are poor.

Steve Pleich is the Director of the Santa Cruz Homeless Persons Advocacy Project

Art by Christa Occhiogrosso

Art by Christa Occhiogrosso

 

Writing for the Street Spirit: My 17 Year Journey

Writing for Street Spirit has awakened in me a sense of responsibility toward others. Street Spirit is a way for people silenced by big money and big media to have a voice.

Animal Friends: A Saving Grace for Homeless People

“I wrapped her in my jacket and promised I’d never let anybody hurt her again. And that’s my promise to her for the rest of her life. In my mind she’s a little angel that saved me as much as I saved her.”

A Testament to Street Spirit’s Justice Journalism

The game was rigged against the poor, but I will always relish the fact that Street Spirit took on the Oakland mayor and city council for their perverse assault on homeless recyclers. For me, that was hallowed ground. I will never regret the fact that we did not surrender that ground.

Tragic Death of Oakland Tenant Mary Jesus

Being evicted felt like the end of her life. As a disabled woman, she saw nothing ahead but a destitute life on the streets. She told a friend, “If I’m evicted tomorrow, I have no choice but to kill myself. I have no resources, no savings, no money, and nowhere to go.”

They Left Him to Die Like a Tramp on the Street

Life is sacred. It is not just an economic statistic when someone suffers and dies on the streets of our nation. It is some mother’s son, or daughter. It is a human being made in the image of God. It is a desecration of the sacred when that life is torn down.

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow in Santa Maria Orphanage

This amazing priest not only housed 300 orphaned children from the streets of Mexico City, but he also took care of 20 homeless elders in his own house and started a home for children dying of AIDS. Father Norman also ran a soup kitchen that fed many people in the village.