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The Mississippi Delta: Birthplace of the Blues – “This Is Where the Soul of Man Never Dies.”

This is a story about how poverty, segregation and racial discrimination harm human beings. This is also a story about how beauty flowers from the fields of brutality. This is a story of the blues. “This is where the soul of man never dies,” as Sam Phillips said about Howlin’ Wolf.

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I Want Every Person to Have A Decent Life

I want everyone to have a decent life in America. People are running around hungry and homeless. People need to help one another. I got help and want others to get help too. I’m about giving. If I can advocate and play music for the benefit of other people, I will.

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They Care for the Lives of the People They Serve

“Coming Together to Eat.” People line up to eat at a church in Berkeley.

The staff at the church have a passion for people. They serve meals on a regular basis without pay. They wouldn’t show up unless they cared. Inside the church, people from all races come to eat. A balanced meal is served and fresh vegetables are available to take home.

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I Feel Connected to Their Suffering

Homeless people have the burden of carrying their belongings wherever they go; they do not want to lose their things. Carts with their life possessions can be seen throughout town. Homeless people often walk all day long to eat, be safe, and sleep. It is hard work and necessary.

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I’m Concerned for the Human Family

The spirit connects us. When I hear the truth of our shared life, I know I have a chance to survive and overcome adversity. When I see people who are homeless, I see a bit of myself. People need places where everyone is equal and recognized for their creativity and ability.

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Life Gets Better and Better Every Day

Susan Werner pins a boutonniere on Keith Arivnwine to honor his work as a photographer in documenting the conditions facing homeless people. Lydia Gans photo

Finally, I had a key in my hand for my own apartment. Every time I turn the key to open the door I feel appreciation and accomplishment. I’m now living where God wants me to be. I feel good about myself and fit into the lifestyle of being housed and mentally stable.

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The Streets Became My Home But I Did Not Give Up

“Food Served with Love.” When I was homeless, I needed to be treated like a human being and offered a life preserver so I would not die on the streets. Keith Arivnwine photo

As a gypsy traveler, I rode buses during the night. Sometimes I’d pass the wee hours of the night on a park bench. I’d wake up early morning. The park bench was my couch, the green grass and trees were my living room. I’d take in the simple pleasures of life.

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I Learned I’m a Warrior and a Survivor

“Anything Helps.” A man’s sign asking for help is seen through a car’s windshield: “Homeless and hungry. Can you help us please?” Darrell Black photo

I’ve learned from being homeless that I’m a warrior, a survivor. When I was going through rough, raw stuff, people said things to me that felt hurtful. It matters to offer encouragement and hope, and to tell a person, “Don’t give up. Life is not over. You can make life better.”

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Finding a Home in the World

“Urban Camping.” Many homeless people are resourceful and skillful. They find ingenious ways to live outdoors by creating a sense of home. Pedro Del Norte photo

Many homeless people are ingenious, intelligent, and resourceful. They establish comfortable ways to live outdoors by finding a quiet place, and create accommodations. They arrange their bedding and stuff to make a niche with a certain amount of comfort and safety. Having a spot gives a person a sense of “home.”

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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.

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow in Santa Maria Orphanage

This amazing priest not only housed 300 orphaned children from the streets of Mexico City, but he also took care of 20 homeless elders in his own house and started a home for children dying of AIDS. Father Norman also ran a soup kitchen that fed many people in the village.