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Gimme Some Truth

“I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I can’t change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.”

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Hunger and Food Insecurity on the Rise: East Bay /San Francisco

Lydia Gans and Buford Buntin share reflections on living hungry in the San Francisco Bay Area. The economic crisis is spreading the problem of hunger beyond families that are totally destitute. An estimated 42 percent of the households served by the Food Bank have at least one person who is employed, yet they still do not have enough money to buy all the food they need.

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Reflections by Judy Andreas and Buford Buntin

A homeless woman endures a rainstorm on a wet, cold sidewalk in San Francisco. Robert L. Terrell photo

Universal Health Care Life is simple — everybody needs food, shelter and, at some point, medicine. by Buford Buntin f Trent Lott wants to pay all that money for his health care, let him, though health care for members of Congress is paid for already by our tax dollars. The millions of Americans who don’t […]

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Are Homeless People Beautiful?

We all find sunsets and meadowlarks and fields of flowers beautiful, whether we are rich or poor, housed or homeless. How did beauty become a cudgel to beat people up?

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Remember the Children Born On Our Streets

The International Day for Human Rights, held at St. Mary’s Center, was an occasion to honor the memory of people who had died homeless on our city streets during the past year. But more than that, it was a time to reaffirm a commitment to the fight for social change.

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Abused

Art by Christa Occhiogrosso

Marie was certain this would be the best holiday ever. After the two-year separation, she was back with her children and had found a job. The apartment was small and dark, but to Marie, it was filled with light.

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A Capital Offense

Painting of Mother Teresa of Calcutta by San Francisco poet Judy Jones.

A reminder of the intolerable reality that in a nation of incredible wealth, we allow people to die—abandoned, suffering, alone.

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Reverence for All Life

“Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I undertake to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist monk, peace activist, scholar, and poet

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One More Way to Harass the Poor

by Buford Buntin young man sits in a seat on the Muni subway platform surrounded by Municipal Railway fare-checkers, eight or ten of them, I’d say. One interrogates him. I’m not aware of what he’s done, except not have his fare, perhaps. His hair is a little out of place, I guess, he looks a […]

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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.