Alastair Boone is the Editor in Chief of Street Spirit.
Homeless memorials celebrate lives lost; illuminate new data about mortality on the street
Memorials for unhoused people provide a space to both celebrate and grieve lives lost on the street—and shine a light on new data about homeless mortality.
Remembering Jeremy Caughlan—a pillar of Elmwood
Jeremy Caughlan—the beloved Street Spirit vendor who sold the newspaper on the corner of College Avenue and Russell Street nearly every day for 10 years—died on December 2. He was 85 years old.
Wood Street residents fight on
A timeline of sweeps, protest, and political action in October.
‘People’s History, People’s Art’: Dusk Delacour’s debut at YSA
Dusk focuses on topics that affect the contemporary world, drawing from his own experience to help viewers get a sense of what it feels like to live through this historical moment.
A look inside the Wood Street community as Caltrans sweep begins
Five Wood Street residents speak about their community and the impact of the recent sweep.
How to vote without a traditional address
Check out our guide to voting without a permanent address, and our list of local ballot measures that could impact housing and homelessness in the East Bay.
‘Tiny Houses, Big Voices’: a peek into new book by youth village residents
The residents of YSA's tiny house village have put together a book of writing from a workshop in the community.
Unhoused Oaklanders make policy change in court
A recent settlement agreement between the City of Oakland and seven unhoused plaintiffs could lead to big changes to the city’s Encampment Management Policy
Brandon Harris: painter, lover of cats, artist behind this month’s cover
Meet Brandon Harris: The artrist behind this month's cover.
Sweep delayed: Wood St residents win in court
29 residents of Wood Street successfully used the courts to stall a planned Caltrans eviction of their encampment.
A march to defend People’s Park
Photo essay: On July 6, some-200 people gathered at Berkeley’s Civic Center Park to to protest development on People’s Park.
What’s been going on at People’s Park?
UC Berkeley plans to begin construction on the housing at People's Park this summer. Meanwhile, park supporters have taken to court to thwart development plans.
Julia Vinograd: poet laureate of the Berkeley Streets
Julia is often described as the unofficial poet laureate of the Berkeley streets. In 2004, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates dubbed June 5 “Julia Vinograd Day.”
By the numbers: the 2022 Point-in-Time count results
In May, the initial results of the 2022 Point-in-Time count came out. Here are the top-line numbers, and some answers to frequently asked questions about the count.
In Dialogue with Sakhone Lasaphangthong: An advocate for unhoused people in Oakland Chinatown
Sakhone is a community organizer who has become a key player Oakland Chinatown's homeless response.
People’s Park celebrates 53 years as Cal development plans creep closer
On the 53rd anniversary of People's Park, community members gathered to celebrate.
Ashby/Shellmound: space, place, history
Though the encampment community is disappearing, a sense of place remains in the minds of these six former residents.
Where are the artists now?
Some are housed while others are living in a motel. One remains outside.
Attorney Osha Neumann, tireless advocate for houseless people, retires
A look back at a lifetime of fighting.
Oakland encampment closures are back with a bang
After a brief pause in 2020 Oakland encampment sweeps appear to be picking up to levels that are higher than they were before the pandemic, according to information obtained by The Oaklandside.
A note on our cover and the year ahead
The images you see were cut from old issues of this newspaper spanning decades, the earliest from 1999 and the latest from just last month.
10 ways to support Street Spirit in the new year
Here are 10 ways to support Street Spirit in the new year.
10 ways to support Street Spirit this holiday season
We need you to help us grow! Here are some ways you can support us.
Encampment residents fight for their rights in court
Their victory is the first step in a case that could bolster the rights of unsheltered people with disabilities in California and beyond.
COVID’s impact on people who live outside—a look back at the last 17 months
Since March 2020, photographer Mark Leong has been documenting how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted people who live outside. These images bring us from the very early days of the pandemic into the present.
Remembering Robin Silver
In memory of Robin Silver.
A note on our August cover
As the highly contagious Delta variant spreads and vaccination on the street remains low, houseless people are once again at the forefront of COVID’s impact.
UC Regents approve Cal’s development plans—community groups fight back
On July 22, the UC Board of Regents voted to approve UC Berkeley’s plans to significantly increase housing development over the next 16 years. Community groups are fighting back.
Meet the Oakland artists building emergency tiny homes
During COVID, many outreach services for unhoused people ground to a halt. Artists Building Communities was born of this moment.
Still haven’t received your stimulus check?
Important information that may help you receive your stimulus checks if as a low-income person.
Emeryville encampment fights for adequate shelter
Residents of the former Shellmound Street encampment plan to continue using the courts to fight for their right to adequate housing.
Newsom announces $12 billion budget for housing and homelessness
In May, Gavin Newsom announced a $12-billion proposal to fund programs to get people off the street. But where exactly would the money go?
The power of art to stop evictions: how you used our anti-eviction poster issue
A few months ago, we published a whole issue full of anti-eviction artwork. Here are some of the ways it was used.
Emeryville encampment fights eviction in court
A federal judge blocked the City of Emeryville from closing an encampment on Shellmound Street. The lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal actions to protect the rights of houseless people in California.
An unlikely tenant at threat of displacement by UC Berkeley’s development plans—the monarch butterfly
The Gill Tract Farm in West Berkeley has long been a refuge for native plant life and the lively community of students and volunteers that work the land there. Now it is also home to a new and unexpected inhabitant: the monarch butterfly.
In their own words: People’s Park residents get COVID vaccines
Street Spirit interviewed the people who got vaccinated about their experiences.
How to get the COVID-19 vaccine as an unhoused person
Homelessness is now a qualifying factor for getting the COVID vaccine in California. This guide will help walk you through the process of signing up for a vaccine.
COVID-19 in the homeless community: In Dialogue with Dr. Harrison Alter
At the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, it seemed a given that the virus would ravage the homeless community—but this has not taken place. We spoke to Dr. Harrison Alter about why.
The fight to save People’s Park gains new momentum
UC Berkeley students have joined forces with the People’s Park Committee to oppose the housing UC Berkeley plans to build there.
The COVID-19 vaccine for the homeless community: What you need to know
Here are some common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine with answers from the county.
What’s that book Street Spirit vendors are selling?
In July 2019, Rick Paulas generously donated hundreds of copies of his book, Eastern Span, for Street Spirit vendors to sell along with their papers. Because of this success, he donated an additional 775 books for our vendors to sell in the coming months.
When will unhoused people get the COVID-19 vaccine?
As Bay Area healthcare workers started receiving the coronavirus vaccine at the end of December, unhoused people and their advocates are wondering when the vaccine will become available to the homeless community.
What’s that book Street Spirit vendors are selling?
The cover of Eastern Span. (Courtesy of Rick Paulas) Buy a copy of Eastern Span from a Street Spirit vendor
What’s that book Street Spirit vendors are selling?
In July 2019, Rick Paulas generously donated hundreds of copies of his book, Eastern Span, for Street Spirit vendors to sell along with their papers. That experiment was a success—some vendors earned hundreds of extra dollars during the months they were selling his novel. Because of this success, he donated an additional 775 books for our vendors to sell in the coming months.
Oakland passes ‘catastrophic’ new encampment policy
After a heated ten hour Council meeting and widespread protest, the Oakland City Council unanimously passed a new Encampment Management Policy (EMP) on October 20.
‘Landless Not Voiceless’: an exhibition by unhoused artists
“Landless Not Voiceless” is an exhibition currently on display at Pro Arts Gallery and Commons in Downtown Oakland being curated by the Cardboard & Concrete Unhoused Artists Collective—a new collective of homeless artists from Berkeley and Oakland.
Waking up outside under an orange sky
While he specter of climate change has already arrived for people who live outside, they also have far more pressing daily needs created by the conditions of their lives.
Housing activist Dominique Walker runs for Berkeley Rent Board
Moms 4 housing co-founder Dominique Walker is running for the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board. Street Spirit caught up with Walker to talk about how she transitioned from leading the renowned Moms 4 Housing movement to running for local office.
Who are unsheltered people voting for this November?
Street Spirit spoke to 107 unsheltered and marginally housed people about who they are planning to vote for in the November 3 presidential election.
Toxic air prompts Berkeley and Oakland to open temporary emergency respite centers
As the air quality climbed into the “very unhealthy” range on Friday, both Berkeley and Oakland opened clean air respite centers for unsheltered people and others who need a break from the toxic wildfire smoke. Here's what we know about where they are and how to utilize them.
M.H. First Oakland: an alternative to calling the police
Don’t call the cops on homeless people. This is a common refrain amongst advocates, and one that has grown louder over the past few months. But when you are witnessing someone in the midst of a mental health crisis, this is easier said than done. The Anti Police Terror Project has stepped up to change that.
Ken Jones: Cat owner, Street Spirit vendor, Berkeley staple
Ken Jones stands on the corner of Addison and Shattuck, waiting for people to exit a concert at the Freight and Salvage, or a play at the Berkeley Rep. In the cool evening light, he catches the eye of patrons spilling out of the theaters, flashing a broad smile at each person who looks up as he broadcasts his patter over the crowd.
Unsheltered leaders of 37 MLK demand to be housed in hotels
Some 30 people gathered outside Oakland’s Palms Motel on Friday to demand that the City of Oakland take immediate action to move more unsheltered people into hotel rooms.
Protestors hold die-in at SF Mayor London Breed’s house
On Thursday evening, protestors staged a die-in outside San Francisco Mayor London Breed's Lower Haight home. Organizers say the action was in protest of Breed's slow action to move unsheltered people into hotels.
Youth Spirit Artworks secures Oakland site for Youth Tiny House Village
Youth Spirit Artworks (YSA) is celebrating a long awaited accomplishment: After scouring the East Bay for a site for their Youth Tiny House Village, YSA has secured a site in East Oakland.
In Dialogue with Moms 4 Housing co-founder Dominique Walker
Street Spirit sat down with Dominique Walker to talk about her history as an organizer, and the future of the Moms 4 Housing movement.
Remembering Arthur Roper
Street Spirit vendor Arthur Roper died on Friday, January 24, of complications from a stroke. He was 83 years old.
The early days: a conversation with Street Spirit co-founder Sally Hindman
In 1995, Sally Hindman wanted to start a home- less advocacy newspaper in the East Bay. Street Sheet already existed in San Francisco, and she saw an opportunity in Berkeley and Oakland. She quickly enlisted Terry Messman to be the founding editor and together, they got to work.
East Bay advocates march
On a sunny Saturday in November, some 250 people gathered in Moss- wood Park to demand an end to un- just housing practices and housing for their homeless neighbors
Supporting your Homeless Neighbors this Holiday Season (and throughout the rest of the year)
Living outside is never easy, but the winter rain and cold create additional burdens for unhoused people. And while the
Derrick Hayes: Street Spirit vendor, community member
Walking down Franklin Street in Downtown Oakland you’ll see a larger than life mural of a man in a baseball cap. With gentle eyes and a wide smile, he looks east over the city, watching over the people passing by. Small businesses line Franklin Street to the left and right. Below the mural is a parking lot, and shiny office buildings tower above. In between lies the portrait of Derrick Hayes, a 59-year-old homeless resident of Oakland who has been selling Street Spirit for almost 20 years.
‘Where Do We Go?’
A movement is growing in Berkeley, where unhoused people are demanding answers.
In Dialogue with Rick Paulas
In July, Rick Paulas generously donated hundreds of copies of his book, Eastern Span, for Street Spirit vendors to sell
I never thought my work with Street Spirit would bring me to Hannover, Germany. But this summer, it did.
Changes suggested to Oakland’s encampment strategy
Sanctioning self-governed encampments. Providing storage options for unsheltered residents. Prohibiting evictions during extreme weather. These are just some of the changes that Oakland City Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas is suggesting to the City of Oakland’s Encampment Management Policy.
Remembering William Barclay Caldeira
William Barclay Caldeira, a Berkeley resident known to many for his deep commitment to justice and equality, died on Sunday, May 19. He was 51 years old. Barclay Caldeira—who went by “300”—was homeless. On the day of his passing, a number of his friends and neighbors saw him sitting at a bus stop on Adeline Street near Ward Street, looking unwell.
The History of People’s Park
Street Spirit pulled this timeline from “People’s Park: Still Blooming”; Edited by Terri Compost. It has been lightly
People’s Park celebrates 50 years
“The first time I played here, there was no park here yet,” Stevie Barsotti, the frontman of a band called Dapper Shindig, said to a crowd who had gathered in People’s Park on April 13. “The third time was when we tore down the fence, and that was really fun!”
Harold Adler captures the spirit of early People’s Park
Harold Adler has photographed all kinds of characters. Throughout the 1960’s and 70’s, he documented Telegraph Avenue hippies and gangs
Remembering Calvin Kelley
Kelley was shot at People’s Park in April—the first ever murder to occur in the Park. A memorial for Kelley
Berkeley says: ‘No parking’
Anti-homeless parking ban in Berkeley sparks outrage An RV in Berkeley with a bumper sticker that reads “home is where
Oakland bans camping around Lake Merritt
The City of Oakland has started enforcing a zero-tolerance camping ban around Lake Merritt.
South Berkeley’s Here There encampment celebrates two years
As the sun set on Friday, February 22, the residents of South Berkeley’s Here/There encampment had much to celebrate. They were commemorating the two-year anniversary of their encampment. On July 6, 2017, camp was founded by First They Came For The Homeless, a homeless-led political organizing group.
In Dialogue with Steve Gillman: the creator of South Berkeley’s ‘HERETHERE’ sculpture
Driving north down Adeline Street, you might notice an eight-foot-tall steel sculpture that reads “Here There” marking the border between
Who counts as homeless?
On January 30, I woke up before dawn to drive around East Oakland and count all the homeless people I could find. I was one of the 600 volunteers who participated in the 2019 Point-in-Time (PIT) homeless count for Alameda County, California. The PIT count is a nationwide effort to tally the number of unsheltered Americans living on the street on a single night in January.
East Oakland’s “Housing and Dignity Village” encampment evicted
It was December 6, and Oakland Police officers had stormed Housing and Dignity Village—a homeless encampment for women of color and their children in East Oakland—to evict the residents who lived there.
New UN report describes Bay Area homelessness as a humanitarian crisis
Last year, United Nations Special Rapporteur Lelani Farha made national headlines after telling the world that homelessness in the Bay Area was “cruel and inhumane.”
Homeless activists are resisting Oakland’s encampment sweeps
Many are fighting for dignity and fair housing as the city vows to clear all Lake Merritt encampments.
Oakland’s race for mayor
The top two candidates talk about housing, homelessness, and what they would like to change in the next four years.
Berkeley Emergency Storm Shelter finds a new location
The Veteran’s Memorial Building at 1931 Center Street (Alastair Boone) After closing the doors at its Ninth Street location on
Scooter: sailor, musician, dog person
In 2008, Scooter was working as a veterinary technician in Connecticut when a friend offered to fly him out to
Berkeley shelter closes
The closure of the largest homeless shelter in Berkeley leaves many with nowhere to go
Letter from the Editor
One October day in 1835, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison was hard at work publishing his anti-slavery newspaper, The Liberator, when