Poetry of the Streets

How can we be housed and sleep at night/ when our brothers have no homes?/ How can we be housed and sleep at night/ when our sisters sleep on stones?/ What happened to the home we shared inside God’s heart?/ Whatever drove that home to vacancy drove us apart.

Fear and Loathing at the Mental Health Clinic

I’d had an “inappropriate outburst.” I’d been restrained, and then the device was used on me. It was designed to shut down the errant part of my brain by using a magnetic pulse. I was uncertain of whether the memory was real, or if it could have been a nightmare.

Encountering a Broken Health Care System

“I know that a person can be broken, but the system can be broken, too. I may be seen by others as a broken-down body with a broken-down mind. But I see a broken system in the mental health and medical field, from the front lines.”

Counties Cancel ICE Detention Contracts

Most cancellations are motivated by public outrage over the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance,” under which every migrant crossing the border without papers is criminally charged and held in detention centers. Over 3,000 children have been torn from their parents and thousands of others have been incarcerated.

Attacking the Poor in a Full-Page Newspaper Ad

Imagine if all poverty and need were forced into the shadows based on the perceptions of danger by imaginative wealthy people. We would have what we have now; housing built predominantly for the well-off, with so little housing for the poor that the rest of us huddle under overpasses.

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.

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.”

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.