The cover art for this issue is a collage of painted works by Jaz Cameron, a street artist known for operating an open-air art gallery. You may have seen it, scotch taped to the rungs of a metal fence that runs under the freeway on Second Street between Harrison and Bryant streets in South of Market. You can find him there nearly every day, experimenting with his paints and creating something new for passersby to enjoy.
Honoring Homeless Mothers This Mother’s Day
By Johanna Elattar
Homelessness is a pressing issue affecting millions of individuals and families around the world. Among those affected by this crisis are homeless mothers who face unique challenges and struggles. Homeless mothers are often left with limited resources, inadequate support and difficult choices to make for themselves and their children.
Homeless mothers are often single parents, who have experienced traumatic events—such as domestic violence, job loss or mental illness—that have led to their homelessness.
Oakland’s Unhoused: Wood Street Commons Refuses to Give Up
Story and photos by Yolanda Catzalco
Note from the editor of the People’s Tribune: The Wood Street Commons is what was recently left of a large long-established community of tents, home-made small dwellings, and vehicles, of originally 300 people, the largest of hundreds of encampments in the gentrifying East Bay city of Oakland, California. Under threat of eviction since last year, the Commons had gotten a restraining order against removal, but this was then lifted,
40 Years of Organizing to End Homelessness
by Paul Boden and Western Regional Advocacy Project
Art Hazelwood (WRAP Minister of Culture)
Forty years ago, the federal government slashed affordable housing budgets of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the United States Department of Agriculture, marking the beginning of the contemporary crisis of homelessness. It has become political fodder for local politicians to say they will end homelessness “in this city” with complete disregard for the fact that no one city created homelessness,
Essential Food and Medicine at Work on Wood Street
by Areli Hernandez
Until recently more than 4,000 homeless people had been living at a large encampment on Wood Street in West Oakland. That number has been reduced to around 50 by repeated sweeps led by CalTrans, which have displaced many former community members. A neighborhood nonprofit called Essential Food and Medicine, or EFAM, helps encampment residents by distributing healthy foods and medicines. The group’s main aim is to reduce homelessness in the Bay Area.
A Preventable Tragedy
Coalition on Homelessness Statement on Officer-involved Double Fatality on May 19, 2022
Rising rents and a lack of stable, affordable housing have pushed many people into homelessness in San Francisco, like they have in cities up and down the West Coast. Living without stable housing is difficult and traumatizing, and it has long-term health consequences for those forced to endure it. With no door to lock and no safe place to rest, unhoused people live without the fundamental stability and safety a home provides.
Women and Children First … or Every Man for Himself?
Don’t Wait Until We Break!
On Wednesday May 4, homeless and formerly homeless moms, children, and individuals converged on San Francisco’s City Hall to deliver one message, loud and clear: “Our mothers need housing.” The action was designed and carried out by unhoused members, mostly moms. In planning the action, they talked about how being homeless is literally breaking their mental health and came up with the slogan “Don’t Wait Until We Break”
Age-old sayings tell us to save “mothers and children first” in any crisis or catastrophe.
Love Letter to the Community
As a person who has lived and worked in the Tenderloin and Central South of Market communities for well over a decade, I have a message for my community about the recent actions of the San Francisco Redistricting Taskforce.
First, to my beloved Tenderloin & Central SoMa family and friends. I’m sorry. I’m sorry because I know you trusted me to be a voice for you in this process. You asked me to fight to secure justice for you and to protect you from harm brought against you by a political and financial elite of this city.
Kidnapping the Tenderloin through Redistricting
Every 10 years, the U.S. Constitution requires all residents to be counted through the Census. The Census occurs every decade, and once it concludes, the redistricting process begins. Redistricting is the redrawing of boundaries to ensure that U.S. citizens in a given state or city have a relatively proportionate number of constituents to serve in legislative offices. The redrawing of district lines is done at every level of legislative government: city, county, state and federal.
How Muni Saved My Life
The author originally told this story before an audience in San Francisco as part of an evening of performance and storytelling sponsored by Tipping Point Community on November 18, 2021 at Manny’s, 3092 16th St. San Francisco. This story has been adapted and edited for your reading pleasure, and hopefully, inspiration.
I think of the places I’ve slept in in my life – buses, trains,