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Glimpses of the Spirit – Heroes in Our Midst

Many nonprofit service providers are working to alleviate the ever-worsening symptoms of poverty by meeting the needs for shelter, food and services. But very few go the extra mile to stand up in defense of the human rights of the poor, or to take part in protests against structural injustice.

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WRAP Loses One of Its Founders, Mikey Chapman

You never saw him on television or leading a march or a meeting, but Mikey Chapman did the quiet things that keep the movement running. A memorial tribute to one of the founding warriors of The Western Regional Avocacy Project.

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Glimpses of the Spirit – Mia and the Circle of Kindness

After Dorothy’s pet cats saved her from a fire that destroyed her apartment, the elderly woman paid to have her cats housed even as she was left destitute and homeless. Mia was so moved by Dorothy’s compassion, she gave her the same kindness Dorothy had given to her cats.

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Mass Imprisonment: The Moral Equivalent of Jim Crow

Today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against criminals in nearly all the ways it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination are suddenly legal, including job discrimination, housing discrimination, and denial of the right to vote.

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Helping Homeless, Jobless Veterans in Oakland

After serving in Vietnam, Alex McElree found out the hard way how many military veterans wind up living on the streets. He began taking homeless veterans into his own house, and then founded the Oakland-based Operation Dignity to help veterans find housing and support services.

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Bring ’em Home

Does the U.S. government “support the troops” when it sends them into battle with inadequate equipment? Does the government “support the troops” when it turns its back on the casualties of war? Does it “support the troops” when it casts countless military veterans onto the streets?

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South of Silicon Valley, Hunger Haunts Hollister

In a terrible contradiction in U.S. poverty, the farm workers who spend their working lives producing the food consumed by millions in cities all over the country often don’t have enough to eat themselves. Hunger haunts agricultural workers in Hollister, in the very shadow of Silicon Valley’s unparalleled affluence.

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Glimpses of the Spirit – Paul’s Pendant

Contrary to everything our society teaches, the Masters of War and the Wall Street bankers are in a rat race for last place. Instead, the meek will inherit the earth. As Bob Dylan warned, “The order is rapidly fading, and the first one now will later be last.”

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Churches Should Offer Sanctuary for the Homeless

If every Christian was raised to meditate on three words, “Jesus was homeless,” churches would be true places of refuge, shelter and sanctuary, open to everyone. When cities enact laws that criminalize poverty, the homeless become refugees who must be offered sanctuary and asylum from unjust laws.

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A Life Consecrated to Compassion and Justice

On the bleak streets of the Tenderloin, a sister took a stand against inhumanity. Her solidarity was inspired by the beatitudes and consecrated to the poor.

The Invisible Natural Cathedral of People’s Park

Builders, please go away. Allow the beauty of an Invisible Natural Cathedral to remain, a living shrine of open space that gives refuge to all people.

Street Spirit Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin

This atrocity was happening in a very wealthy city. It was happening right under our noses. It was very visible. And there was not the united voice of the faith community speaking out. That was the spark of Religious Witness. From that moment, I knew what I had to do.

Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin, Part Two

“What’s forming in my mind is Jesus in the temple when he became angry at the unjust and very exclusive systems of society. That is the very reason that there are the poor and the marginalized. It is not enough just to provide food, clothing and housing.”

‘Such Is the Magic and Spirit of People’s Park’

The mayor has no understanding of the awful defeat the loss of People’s Park would be. No comprehension of the cost in lives and the sacrifices people have made for the Park’s ideals. So many still find it a refuge in a country needing a political and spiritual overhaul.

I Remember Who I Am

“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.