No on F: F is for “Fail”

In what has to be one of the dumbest, most desperate yet conniving pre-election moves this publication has seen in years, Mayor London Breed put an initiative on the March ballot that will dramatically drive up homelessness while wasting valuable public resources. 

This brain fart has been labeled Proposition F. While the Mayor has failed in addressing the overdose crisis, with more people dying from accidental overdoses than ever, she has come up with a plan to cut those suspected of drug use off of welfare. 

READ MORE

A Futile Attempt to Make Money Foiled by Social Services

by Jack Bragen

The social services systems in California punish success and punish efforts at raising one’s standard of living and personal security—at least, that’s how it seems in my case. Even if your earnings are literally tiny, Social Security, the IRS, county food assistance and Medicaid all insist they need to know, and insist they all get their share.

As hard as I work at my two to three little-paid writing gigs,

READ MORE

We’re Not Mentally Ill People Anymore—Now We’re “The Crazies”

by Jack Bragen

We live in challenging times. Those who have power over others are waging a detestable war against the innocent, against those who merely want to make things better for themselves and their families, and those who make sacrifices to help others. 

But those who have power over others cannot win—it is physically impossible. They could destroy all life and everything else, but they can not ultimately maintain a malicious dominance over the innocent. 

READ MORE

Oakland Attempts to Curb the Homeless Health Crisis with Street Medicine

by Chris Lee

Homeless deaths have surged in recent years. In Oakland, Chronic illness and addictions make up most of homeless deaths by 47% and 31% respectively

John Janosko has been on and off methamphetamine for the last several years while homeless in West Oakland. However, it may not be the addiction that kills the 55-year-old. His heart might give up first.

Janosko is one of thousands of homeless residents with comorbidities that put him at risk of an early death.

READ MORE

CARE Court in California: A Primer

Defund Police. Invest in Community. House. Feed. Empathy. Listen. Teach.

by Gloria A Lightheart

In September 2022, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1338, creating a mental health court. The Community Assistance Recovery & Empowerment (CARE) court program empowers judges to compel people with mental health disabilities or substance abuse issues to accept psychiatric treatment and medication. The legislature approved the bill on a near-unanimous vote.

In the new system, a court-appointed conservator would make financial and health care decisions,

READ MORE

Neurodivergent People and the Abuse of Language

Woman raising fist, wearing a green kerchief and shirt reading "None of us is free until all of us are free"

by Jack Bragen

To quote a highly educated, knowledgeable, authoritative religious man whom I know (I can’t give you his name, but he exists), “Words are weapons!” He’d said this to me in an outraged, loud, almost yelling, tone. He was unhappy with something I wrote. I had asserted that words didn’t count for much. That was more than twenty years ago, and now I know better.

Words can be weapons.

READ MORE

It’s Not Your Imagination. Working is Tough.

by Jack Bragen

Many people don’t find it difficult to work a job, and as a result they may lack empathy for those of us who find it highly challenging.  They just can’t relate to the challenge of working with a disabling condition. Therefore, they might believe something is wrong with the person who finds work to be difficult. Or they might believe a person who has a problem with it is lazy or that they intend to mess things up. 

READ MORE

COVID’s Not Over!

When COVID-19 first hit the streets of San Francisco in 2020, the response was dramatic. People with housing began to shelter in place, mutual aid networks sprung up, and tenants went on rent strike. While San Francisco publicly spotlighted its shelter-in-place hotel program, which offered private rooms to about 1,500 unhoused people, many unsheltered San Franciscans were left to fend for themselves as shelters closed down and services shuttered their doors. During the two and a half years that the program operated,

READ MORE

With a Diagnosis of Schizophrenia, Our Prospects are Tough

by Jack Bragen

At 18, I was released from the hospital following a horrible psychotic episode for which I had been jailed and put in several psych wards. When finally released, I was back to some semblance of normality.

When I met with outpatient psychiatrists, they advised me that I should get a job doing the same kind of thing I’d done before I’d had the psychotic episode. It was never suggested that I try to go to college or do any kind of job that entailed brains.

READ MORE

“What helped me was finally a room where I could be safe, regular meals and a warm bed”: An account on getting sober

by Agapezz

For me, it used to be that consuming was more important than eating: I needed it to fall asleep and wake up, to function. To keep from going crazy, I hold on to the high, even if it means ignoring any morality I really wanted to hold on to. Consumption lulls my traumas to sleep and covers them so they don’t wake up. I would like to deal with my negative experiences,

READ MORE