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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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Society’s Failure to Care Is the Root of Homelessness

In one of the richest places in the world, people become so wrapped up in their own comfort and status that they don’t care about the human beings they are stepping over.

Visionary Art of Leon Kennedy

In Leon Kennedy’s painting, his living friends are portrayed next to long-gone elders and assassinated civil rights leaders. Even death does not shatter the bonds of love and community.

Welcome to Homelessness

The worst thing about homelessness, I sensed, would have nothing to do with bad weather, hunger or sleep deprivation. It would be the way I soon would be cast out like a leper, as though one would contract a deadly disease just from being in my presence.

Big Money Spends a Fortune to Fight Rent Control

Wealthy landlords, realtors and developers have teamed up and are spending a fortune to fight the efforts of renters to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act, the law that severely limits the rent control options of California cities. Tenants have also launched rent control campaigns in 10 California cities.

Vicious and Cruel Assault on the Poorest of the Poor

Elected leaders of the national tenants union denounced the housing bill proposed by HUD Secretary Ben Carson as a vicious and cruel assault on the poorest of the poor. “Millions will be displaced if these deeply cruel proposals see the light of day. Congress should reject them out of hand.”

The DBA’s Assault on Free Speech in Berkeley

The DBA launched a new poster destruction policy, despite being warned it was unconstitutional by the City Attorney. Tearing down fliers is a textbook example of a free speech violation. No one has the right to make content-based distinctions about what is allowed to be posted or said in legal, public places.