Freedom Flight

As I look out the window sill here, 

I see birds circling high above the ground. 

Free, floating as high as he wants, 

To be ever so gently, 

Free, free, free. 

Now if I could trade places with that bird that soars, 

Never to be trapped inside these doors, 

I’d fly high and free to unknown places, 

Above treetops and snow-capped places, 

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Hotels Heal: Keep SIPs Open

Disease does not care about class divisions or housing status. If you leave anybody vulnerable to COVID-19, you increase your whole city’s vulnerability to COVID-19. When you increase access to stable, humane housing, you increase the health of your city. When you support and prioritize the health of your friends and community members who are experiencing homelessness, you support and prioritize the health of your healers in the hospitals and the health of those organizing in the community. 

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Op-ed: Homeless people should get vaxxed

This is the most difficult piece I have ever had to write on the issue of homelessness and supportive housing. Like all of you, I tend to be very hesitant about bureaucratic hurdles that keep people from being able to access housing from homelessness, and through this, I still will be in the vast majority of circumstances.

However, the resurgence of COVID-19 due to the delta variant and widespread vaccine refusal has forced my hand,

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Tariq’s Narrative on Living and Surviving Homelessness

Street Sheet vendor Tariq Johnson stands in the Coalition on Homelessness office wearing his vendor badge on a landyard and grinning.

Editor’s note — we ran the first part of this piece in March of 2020, with the intention of running Part 2 in April. By April we were temporarily out of print as we grappled with how to continue the Street Sheet program safely while COVID raged in our communities. We’re so happy to be back in print twice a month, and to finally share Tariq’s story with our readers. Here is the full story:

I’m not sure where to begin and end this short tale about my homelessness.

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Op-Ed: Global Warming is Real

Developing nations could go solar in fighting climate change

     We all know that fossil fuels cause the greenhouse effect and global warming. The question is how to stop it. For decades, activists protested against nuclear power. Germany closed many nuclear power plants. To generate electricity they are now burning dirty coal. Green energy—wind and solar—is still a very small part of the energy mix worldwide.  Meanwhile, the greenhouse effect is becoming stronger and more deadly.

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A Light In The Dark

In the winter of 2013, I started working at a small Italian restaurant. It was close to where I lived in the Upstate NY town that I had moved to in 2012. My husband and I had left NYC after Hurricane Sandy  destroyed our home and everything in it. I was lucky to escape with just the clothes on my back and my little blind cat, Grumbles. Grumbles was a ginger cat that I had rescued when I found him on a Brooklyn street,

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After SIP hotels get an extension, will unhoused residents get a new lease on life?

A tent is in the center of the frame. In front of it is what looks like a white dollhouse, laying flat on the ground. The image is in Black and White

As public health and homeless advocates urge San Francisco to keep the shelter-in-place (SIP) hotels open, the City announced that its plans to close two of the remaining 25 SIP hotels are put on hold through at least the end of the year, Street Sheet has learned.

The City’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) sent a memo to the hotels’ service providers announcing a pause in relocating COVID-vulnerable residents to congregate shelters as of August 19,

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Kids Speak Their Minds

On Returning to School, Navigating Housing Insecurity, and Surviving a Pandemic

August is the time when parents get to have a break from their kids, and kids get to spend time with their friends. These were the normal circumstances before COVID-19 entered our lives. However, the pandemic has dramatically changed people’s lives, some for the better and some for the worse. Now that the vaccine is being distributed, the School Board is planning on reopening schools once more. 

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In Memoriam: Janice Mirikitani

Janice Mirikatani stands holding a microphone and smiling at a glass podium. Behind her is a window of stained glass that suggests she is in a church.

February 4, 1941 –  July 29, 2021

Originally published at Glide.org

Janice Mirikitani, the beloved GLIDE Co-Founder and Japanese American Sansei poet, whose activism helped define the social justice culture of San Francisco, and whose verse illuminated her struggles with ethnic identity and personal adversity, died on Thursday, July 29, 2021. She was 80.  

Mirikitani was a teacher, artist, and activist whose work and commitment to empower and give voice to the most marginalized has transformed tens of thousands of lives in San Francisco and beyond.

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When Tents are Removed, There’s No Way Home

A Look At HSOC and Why It Should Be Dismantled

The Healthy Streets Operations Center (HSOC) grew out of the Mission Police Station in January 2018, with the goal of clearing all the tents from the Mission District. It almost succeeded in that endeavor. But rather than reducing homelessness, the number of folks on the streets actually increased in the district, as did the misery of those who had their flimsy shelter and the bit of dignity that tents provided ripped away. 

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