Advocating for Yourself

by Everett May

Most people can appreciate the value in having a good advocate on your side during life’s challenging moments. Almost everybody has experienced a situation when an advocate was either necessary or would have come in handy. In certain circumstances advocates are not hard to find—especially if there is money involved—but that’s not always the case. Sometimes your troubles have nothing to do with money, or they are something money just can’t fix.


On Meditation and Medication

by Jack Bragen

There is something to be said for not being afraid to get your hands dirty, for not being afraid to compete, including when things aren’t friendly, for being on the bottom and clawing your way to the top, and, to sum it up, living in the soup. And the soup might be distasteful, its meat could be foul, and its veggies and noodles could be overdone to the point of mushy.


CART’s Alternative Response to Policing May Turn into Alternative Policing

The Compassionate Alternative Response Team (CART) was envisioned by a broad coalition of homeless people, activists, service providers and community members as a safe and dignified way to respond to complaints from the public about street-based folks. The idea was to replace the current—often traumatic—police response with a compassionate response rooted in meeting the needs of those on the street. 

After years of advocacy, CART was finally funded and set to be implemented,


The Forgotten Ones: The Plight of Homeless Women in America and an Interview with Marie

by Johanna Elattar

It’s March: Women’s History Month. We honor women, their accomplishments, and the ongoing struggle for equality and justice. As we remember all the amazing women, I can’t help but think of the forgotten ones. The old woman sitting on a street corner, begging for change from passers by. The young woman doing sex work just to have a little to eat or a place to sleep. The single mother with her child,


Death on the Streets: An American Tragedy

by Israel Bayer

Thousands of people die homeless every year in the U.S. In this piece, Israel Bayer, who leads INSP’s North American project, and has worked with street papers and people experiencing homelessness for more than two decades, recounts instances where his work brought him face to face with this terrible reality. 

The winter of 2017 Portland, Oregon was hit with an unusually long ice storm.


Disability Apartheid

by Anonymous

Few people believe disability rights is a racial justice issue. On face value, it isn’t. But did you know, although less than 3% of the total population,  Black San Franciscans are twice as likely to be disabled than white San Franciscans?

How is this possible? How can somebody’s race make them more likely to be disabled or not?

While I don’t have all the answers to that question,


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. 


The Modern Eugenics

by Revolt

“If this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that it’s not safe to talk about it.”

I found myself writing these words to a burgeoning “COVID-conscious” friend group this week, feeling the gut-wrenching pain of yet another loss of community.  In a time when the country has decided to somehow “move on” from a rampant virus that still kills and hospitalizes Americans in droves, it’s hard to feel like reality has any basis in the rational. 


CARE Courts Signed into Law

Governor Gavin Newsom’s CARE Courts are now law after he signed the legislation on September 14. 

Senate Bill 1338, a Newsom proposal, will create a specialized mental health court where judges can compel people with mental health disabilities and substance use conditions into treatment. The bill allows a broad list of “specified individuals” to refer somebody for conservatorship, and sets a similarly broad set of conditions qualifying them for CARE Court.


Unreal: Homelessness and Mental Illness

It’s a rare chilly morning in August, and I’m not fully awake when I hear the sound of an incoming message on my phone. I force myself to sit up and grab the phone from the nightstand. I see that it’s a message from Jeannie, an acquaintance from high school. There’s a video attached to the message. Jeannie likes sending me funny videos that she finds on YouTube—this one is called “Fake Mental Disorder Cringe.” Right away,