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Blues for the 99 Percent

In churches and juke joints, singing held the community together as Jim Crow oppression threatened to keep people confined in a slavery-like caste system. Songs conveyed things too dangerous to speak about — long work hours, low pay, and unfair racist bosses.

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Youth on the Street in Light of the Supreme Court Ruling

The Supreme Court recognized dignity in all when it announced that LGBT couples have the right to marry. Let us hope that governments everywhere will someday address the issues of poverty in the same spirit. A disproportionate number of young people who end up on the streets identify as LGBT.

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Music and Social Change

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His Heart Is Always with the People on the Street

“I don’t want to be another paper shuffler sending people to go here and there. They get plenty of that already. If I’m to connect people to mental health services or housing, there needs to be some significant investment in that. That’s why I’m not going to give up the social justice thing.”

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Creating Community on Skid Row in L.A.

“We hang out here because we’re not allowed in the upskirts of downtown. Some of us aren’t permitted because of the way we look. People have a label on us. They see me as a person who eats out of a trashcan.” — Linda Harris, a cancer survivor who lives in Skid Row

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May Poetry of the Streets

Veterans may return home with medals for valor, but if they become homeless, they’re shunned by the same society that sent them to war. “Too many street sleepers, doubly wounded, earned the nation’s Purple Heart, even the Bronze Star. Now they don’t have a home, a job or a car.”

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St. Mary’s Center Honors the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

So much sorrow, loneliness and compassion are contained in the homeless man’s words: “Watch my cart.” The illness of a lone man on the streets. The stark reality that a shopping cart holds a man’s sole possessions. The joy when other people begin to help, and the way their caring lessens loneliness.

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Hobos to Street People: Artists’ Response to Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present

This timely exhibit features the work of 30 artists working over the last 75 years to document homelessness and the government’s role in the crisis. Depression-era and contemporary artists offer glimpses of life on the street and show the human face of poverty, injustice and economic hardships in both eras.

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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.