The United States spends enough money in two weeks on war that would feed, house and clothe every person on earth. Why? When 10.6 million children in this country don’t have health insurance, why does the world applaud Donald Trump’s new multimillion-dollar contract with a television station?
The belief that people are homeless because they brought their predicament on themselves, is one way to justify doing nothing to help. This rationalization allows society to consider the homeless person as a nuisance, one from whom we all need to be protected by law enforcement.
He finds sanctuary in the written word, praying it can hold him. He knows that too many frowns or raised eyebrows will translate to a small tug of his jacket, a kind or maybe not-so-kind tap on the shoulder and small words with large repercussions: “Sorry, but you have to go.”
You never saw him on television or leading a march or a meeting, but Mikey Chapman did the quiet things that keep the movement running. A memorial tribute to one of the founding warriors of The Western Regional Avocacy Project.
In a terrible contradiction in U.S. poverty, the farm workers who spend their working lives producing the food consumed by millions in cities all over the country often don’t have enough to eat themselves. Hunger haunts agricultural workers in Hollister, in the very shadow of Silicon Valley’s unparalleled affluence.
After serving in Vietnam, Alex McElree found out the hard way how many military veterans wind up living on the streets. He began taking homeless veterans into his own house, and then founded the Oakland-based Operation Dignity to help veterans find housing and support services.
After Dorothy’s pet cats saved her from a fire that destroyed her apartment, the elderly woman paid to have her cats housed even as she was left destitute and homeless. Mia was so moved by Dorothy’s compassion, she gave her the same kindness Dorothy had given to her cats.
Does the U.S. government “support the troops” when it sends them into battle with inadequate equipment? Does the government “support the troops” when it turns its back on the casualties of war? Does it “support the troops” when it casts countless military veterans onto the streets?
If every Christian was raised to meditate on three words, “Jesus was homeless,” churches would be true places of refuge, shelter and sanctuary, open to everyone. When cities enact laws that criminalize poverty, the homeless become refugees who must be offered sanctuary and asylum from unjust laws.
Contrary to everything our society teaches, the Masters of War and the Wall Street bankers are in a rat race for last place. Instead, the meek will inherit the earth. As Bob Dylan warned, “The order is rapidly fading, and the first one now will later be last.”
Today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against criminals in nearly all the ways it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination are suddenly legal, including job discrimination, housing discrimination, and denial of the right to vote.