I was walking down the street one day when I decided that it was time for my life to take off. I looked down and found my arms slowly flapping up and down. A homeless man saw me and began to sing, "Fly like an eagle."
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.”
When people’s health and well-being are based on a home, and a building is useable, a health care corporation leaving it empty is a savagely hypocritical act.. On April 11, 2011, resisters took over a vacant Kaiser Permanente building, and marked this predator medical corporation with a banner reading, “Kaiser Thrives, People Die.”
“Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I undertake to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist monk, peace activist, scholar, and poet
There is not nearly enough shelter to serve homeless youth in Berkeley. With such a dire shortage, is it fair to fine and arrest the exhausted and, unsurprisingly, sometimes dirty youth sitting on our sidewalks?
Many participants from Berkeley have helped to build YEAH!, tended it, fed the youth, and donated time, energy and money to the endeavor. They bring their warmth, their respect, and their desire to make a difference. The Lutheran Church of the Cross, which houses the shelter, has a commitment to making a difference for people who would otherwise live outside. YEAH! is their commitment.
Instead of funding affordable homes, we are housing over 160,000 people in over-crowded prisons and jails. Instead of funding In-Home Support Services, we are building prison hospitals. Instead of building community colleges, we are building county jails.