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Are Coffee Shops the New Homeless Drop-In Centers?

In areas of cities with a large homeless population, employees not only put “Out of Order” signs on their restroom doors, they remove the chairs and tables, forcing customers to stand to drink their coffee, hoping to deter the poor from coming in to bathe and sleep.

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Psychiatric Cruelty in the Modern Era

Before the first medications were developed, lobotomies were used on the most difficult cases, and electroshock was often used as well. Even with modern treatments and knowledge in the field of psychiatry, senseless cruelty continues to be perpetrated upon persons who suffer from mental health problems.

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Out on the Street, Hope Is Out of Reach

I recently spent the night at the homeless encampment near West Grand Avenue in Oakland. We sat on milk crates on a cold night, and we ate sandwiches while I listened as they talked about their fears, despairs and why help takes so long to reach them.

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Sidestepping Democracy: A Berkeley Tradition Lives On

The anti-panhandling law, the anti-sitting law, the two-square-feet-of-possessions-only law, and the proposal to equip the smoke-free downtown with ashtrays have one thing in common: the Downtown Berkeley Association. This unelected group was given a free hand in crafting contradictory and unconstitutional legislation.

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Tiny Homes: Homeowners’ and Developers’ Scam?

Any empty residential or commercial space should be used in this housing emergency to situate people in need. The only thing missing is the key — not a metaphorical key, the actual key to an actual space with heat, electricity, cooking and bathroom facilities, etc. No miniaturization, no shanty-town necessary.

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Compassion: A Solution to Oakland’s Homeless Crisis

So much compassion has been lost in our society. Many people have become desensitized to seeing homeless encampments. They remind us that the unexpected can hit any of us at any time. We can lose our job or suddenly get too sick to work. Many don’t want to think about this.

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The Significance of People’s Park — Now More Than Ever

People from all over the world were coming to the Bay Area for the poetry and music, for the recognition of Howl as free speech, and for the chance to participate in a cultural change that has never stopped, any more than has the university’s ham-handed efforts to repress it.

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The Desperate Housing Crisis in Berkeley

Every day I hear the desperation of people on the street. I worked as a community organizer for 14 years for BOSS, helping homeless people, but now I am jobless and homeless myself. I see how ineffective our housing policies are. We need a revival of street action and protest in Berkeley.

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Death in the West: Memorial for a Day Laborer

Roberto worked without medical coverage or a living wage. Not a cent went into Social Security for the aging worker. When he died in a doorway of the defunct U-Haul rental shop in at Allston Way and San Pablo in Berkeley, it took a day or so for anyone to notice.

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Food Is a Right, Not a Privilege

San Jose officials are trying to ban free meals and outlaw compassion. Food Not Bombs is fighting back and defending the right to feed the hungry.

A New Way of Seeing

Homelessness is about discovering that your lifelong friends and family, the very people you thought were truly supportive, are suddenly very leery of you.

Surprised by Love on the Streets of Purgatory

He didn’t have a lot of sympathy to go around, but the dog’s pathetic state moved him, and he shared his half-eaten sandwich. When the dog had finished eating, she sat next to him and shyly licked his hand. At the crossroads of despair, a homeless man unexpectedly found love.

Fighting for the Sanctuary Workplace

The Trump administration has put the idea of sanctuaries on steroids — spaces free from the threat of raids and deportations. As immigrant workers and unions look for creative ways to counter anti-immigrant onslaughts, they’re adopting the sanctuary framework to deal with the dangers faced on the job.

Post-Traumatic Stress After 1,460 Days in a Tent

How does it feel to be free from homelessness? It’s like a soldier coming home from war and being forced to cope with a life that has changed forever. Like veterans, homeless people suffer from post-traumatic stress. In both cases, help is hard to find — and people die in both cases.

Are Coffee Shops the New Homeless Drop-In Centers?

In areas of cities with a large homeless population, employees not only put “Out of Order” signs on their restroom doors, they remove the chairs and tables, forcing customers to stand to drink their coffee, hoping to deter the poor from coming in to bathe and sleep.