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The Poverty Line

More enforcement droids were coming with their weapons readied. But people had taken enough. Those who had been waiting in the long line so that they could continue their meager existences were angry. They surged at the enforcement droids and collectively smashed them to bits in a process of spontaneous rebellion.

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The Soldier’s Box of Memories

Miles and I had a strange bond: I was a conscientious objector and he was a Special Forces guy. He took some shrapnel in Vietnam and walked with a limp. After the war, Miles became a wandering man for years on end, spending time in homeless shelters up and down the East Coast.

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The Jazzman Follows The Sky Up To The Roof

“You’re trespassing. This is private property, plus you can’t sleep outside in this city.” The bespectacled cop writes out a ticket and hands it to Hank. “We’ll escort you downstairs.” Once back down on the street, the other cop says, “You’re free to go, but next time it’ll be the county jail.”

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Willa’s Way to Walden Pond

He’s engrossed in Walden and the memorable quote from Thoreau: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

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Here Come the Men in Gray

The men in gray uniforms arrived and restrained the errant man. One of them jabbed him in the neck with a hypodermic needle and pushed the plunger home. The violator immediately went pale and rigid. The two men roughly threw the now deceased violator into the back of their truck and drove away.

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The Professor

He had been a professor of classics at a small southern college before the nightmare frame-up and 10 years on prison. A model inmate, he received an early release, but not early enough to attend the funeral of his only son, Isiah, an innocent bystander killed in a crossfire of gang violence.

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One-Way Ticket Home

The streets were alien to me. I was defenseless. Cops and security guards hassled me for just being in a particular area or store and minding my own business. And when night descended, I was scared out of my wits sleeping in doorways. I became guarded and hyper-alert.

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No Pity in the Cruel City: Yet Friendship Flourishes for Molly and Lloyd

He opened his desk drawer. Next to his medals, he fingered the black-and-white photo of Molly and mutely kissed it. He treasured the photo more than the medals. Tears were slowly rolling down his cheeks and for the first time in his life he did not try to keep them back.

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Finding an Escape from the Streets of Broken Dreams

Mitch suffered the double whammy of a pink slip and divorce from a red-haired beauty half his age. After months of depression and passivity, he arrived in the Golden State and wound up sleeping on the cold concrete of Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco.

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Resurrection of the Poor People’s Campaign

Rev. Barber told the activists gathered in the nation’s capital that by demonstrating in solidarity with poor people, they had become a link in the long history of people who fought for justice.

Hate Crime Laws Needed to Protect the Homeless

As homelessness becomes more visible, people living on the streets are targeted for bullying, assaults, harassment and even murders.

Life Is A Precious Gift: Mother Teresa’s House in Washington

We will never know how many huge pots of soup Jacob lifted with the sisters into trucks, to take to the homeless in the park. We will never know how many diseased bodies he fed, held and bathed, and the number of tears he dried in the early morning hours.

Mother Teresa’s Gift of Love in San Francisco

She took home with her the men who had only a few days left to live and were suffering the most, and tenderly cared for them around the clock. I am certain some of the people I was meeting were angels, whose job was to make certain no soul died alone and unloved.

My Back Pages: A Song for Miss Kay

She softly sings the soul anthem “Stand By Me.” It is a song for Miss Kay, a song for all of us. Her life, with its music and joy, followed by a downward slide into homelessness and death, tells us something deeper than words about the human condition.

My Back Pages: Kerry’s Kids, An Undying Dream

Oakland pediatrician Dr. Karen Kruger said, “Kerry’s death was so sudden and seemingly purposeless and shocking that I think there was a need for people that loved her to carry on her memory in a way that she would look down on from her cloud and be happy about.”