Archive | Reflection RSS feed for this section

Philip Rosheger: The Miracle of Music Among Us

Philip Rosheger, one of the most distinguished classical players and composers of our time, was immersed in music and composition, but loved to talk about injustice and poverty. I hope those who read this will consider being generous with the next street musician you see in his honor. He would love that.

Read More Comments Off on Philip Rosheger: The Miracle of Music Among Us

A Cup of Coffee

When I became poor, I learned that there are big jars of sugar and entire pitchers of milk available free to anyone who buys a cup of coffee. You can add enough sugar (carbohydrate) and milk (protein and fat) to relieve your hunger for a couple of hours.

Read More Comments Off on A Cup of Coffee

One Billion Rising

One in three women on earth — a total of one billion — will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes. We carry the torch for all the women whose voices were silenced by rape and murder. We are their voices now and we will never again choose silence and fear.

Read More Comments Off on One Billion Rising

The Unmourned Death of Elvis Presley in San Francisco

Elvis had been homeless in this neighborhood for over 15 years. His broken, tired, ravaged body provided sad evidence of what that was like. But he never complained, and didn’t see himself as a victim. Despite the toll taken by living on the street for so long, Elvis was unfailingly friendly.

Read More Comments Off on The Unmourned Death of Elvis Presley in San Francisco

A Poet’s Journey from the Streets of Oakland to the United Nations

This man with the weatherworn face made me realize that people living in extreme poverty have to make a strong effort to dispel the darkness, especially now that our rights are being systematically stripped away. There’s an urgent need for us to speak up whenever and wherever we can.

Read More Comments Off on A Poet’s Journey from the Streets of Oakland to the United Nations

I Lived on Violent, Ruthless Streets

The streets where I lived were ruthless and frequently violent. I often suffered from hunger, and would go days without something to eat. There was violence almost every night — from shootings to robberies and rape. This caused me extreme fear. Every little noise, you wake up.

Read More Comments Off on I Lived on Violent, Ruthless Streets

Finding an Abandoned Dog Led to Our New Home

The connection between homelessness and animals arose for me when I found my dog Clair on the street in downtown Berkeley’s business district after she’d been dumped out of a car. We found a home together. Clair was home to me for 17 years, and I was home to her.

Read More Comments Off on Finding an Abandoned Dog Led to Our New Home

The Rich Are Shielded from the Suffering of the Poor

The problem is that the one percent has learned ways to tweak the business and economic environment in such a way that they can receive massive amounts of wealth while depriving others. Why do people continue to behave in this way, amassing piles of wealth while others go hungry?

Read More Comments Off on The Rich Are Shielded from the Suffering of the Poor

Who Are These Children Dressed in Red? Nonviolent Resistance and the Cost of Conscience

Narayan Desai taught us about nonviolent resistance in Birmingham, a city notoriously known as “Bombingham” because so many churches and homes were bombed by the forces of racism. We saw the parallels between Gandhi’s embrace of the risks of prison and police attacks, and the courage of Birmingham’s civil rights activists.

Read More Comments Off on Who Are These Children Dressed in Red? Nonviolent Resistance and the Cost of Conscience

Berkeley shelter closes

The closure of the largest homeless shelter in Berkeley leaves many with nowhere to go

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.