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The Spirit of St. Mary’s Center

A giant puppet of Gandhi symbolizes the spirit of nonviolence and justice at this Health and Justice Fair 2005 held at St. Mary's Center in Oakland.

by Terry Messman owntown Oakland has the highest percentage of seniors in poverty of any urban area in California. Many of those seniors are homeless. On any given night, elderly citizens make up 17 percent of Oakland’s homeless populace. St. Mary’s Center in downtown Oakland is providing life-saving shelter and life-enriching services, recovery programs and […]

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St. Mary’s Center — On the Move for Justice

Joseph Shaw (at left) talks with Carol Johnson, director of St. Mary's. Lydia Gans photo

by Maureen Hartmann A giant puppet of Martin Luther King is being created today by the senior clients of St. Mary’s Center. The puppet will hold the “UN Declaration of Human Rights” or a quote from King, “It’s time to end poverty.” It is being put together for the End Poverty Procession planned for October […]

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Berkeley shelter closes

The closure of the largest homeless shelter in Berkeley leaves many with nowhere to go

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.