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The Visionary Folk Art of Leon Kennedy

Leon Kennedy loves to paint the faces of those who matter most to him. “I love to see a picture of the beauty of old faces, young faces, all colors. Everyone has their own beauty, everyone has character.”

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Human Face of Homelessness at Expressions Gallery

In a city that persecutes and banishes people on the streets, Expressions Gallery is a sanctuary that welcomed homeless artists and honored their creative work.

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A Poet Finds Moral Beauty in the Lives of the Poor

Peter Marin’s poetry portrays the lives of homeless people as sources of great artistic beauty. Marin sees nobility disguised under shabby overcoats and finds beauty hidden inside cardboard shacks, in the people that America forgot.

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Finding Refuge in Refuse at the Albany Landfill

Creative women and men have created a flourishing homestead dedicated to art, ecology and freedom at the Albany Bulb. The plants are wild, the art dotting every square inch of the peninsula is unsanctioned, and the residents embrace an alternative lifestyle. All these elements seem to be in harmony with one another.

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Artist Rodney Bell Inspires Homeless Seniors at St. Mary’s Center

Bell’s artworks grace the walls of St. Mary’s and his music fills the air, brightening the day for homeless seniors who have lived unimaginably difficult lives.

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Young Artists Create a Vision of Beauty and Social Justice

Youth Spirit Artworks is expanding their arts studio for the growing number of homeless and at-risk youth on the streets and in local high schools.

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Oral History from the Seniors of St. Mary’s Center

The following oral histories of seniors Joe Batiste, Darlene Thomas, Milas Hackett, David Fobroy, Henry Thompson, and Richard Mingus were compiled by Trena Cleland to document the inspiring life stories of poor and homeless seniors who have been helped by St. Mary’s Center in downtown Oakland.

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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.