until all people are free/ will I be forever thru eternity/ singing for rights of women children and the poor/ until they are treated with dignity/ walking the walk living the talk/ singing boldly and strong/ against all injustices I see/ until all women children and the poor/ are treated with dignity — From "Walking the Walk" by Judy Joy Jones
In your streets, around your home,/ bombs burst in air, we put them there./ We have so many bombs to spare,/ and crave your oil, a major share./ Say, are you safe within our care? / We bomb your land because we can,/ kill your neighbors to show we dare,/ destroy your home, pollute your air…
Many transgender people in the Bay Area have been forced to live on the streets due to the harassment, abuse, and neglect they have encountered in shelters. Transgender women are specifically impacted by the lack of safe or affordable housing, while experiencing high rates of discrimination in employment and education.
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.
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.”
King Vidor’s Depression-era film, “Our Daily Bread,” offered a utopian vision of social justice that championed the rights of workers. The vultures of the controlled press condemned it as anti-American. “Our Daily Bread” exposed economic injustice years before John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath put Tom Joad on the road.
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.
People of lower socioeconomic status have become “trailer trash” or worse. Anyone who is not in the country-club set doesn’t count as a “real” person. Homeless people are perceived by mainstream society as being something less than a person, to be avoided, or to be driven out of sight.
Joe Wilson, program manager at Hospitality House, pointed out that public officials have chosen to disinvest in affordable housing for low-income people in favor of criminalizing them. “The largest developers of low-income housing are the California Department of Corrections and the U.S. Department of Justice,” he said.
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.
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.”
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.