“An initiative of Pope Francis, the World Meeting of Popular Movements’ (WMPM) purpose is to create an “encounter” between Church leadership and grassroots organizations working to address the “economy of exclusion and inequality” (Joy of the Gospel, nos. 53-54) by working for structural changes that promote social, economic and racial justice.” Continue reading →
Tonight was the Annual Interfaith Memorial for our Homeless Dead. It’s always a powerful experience and a stunning reminder of how many people are needlessly suffering and dying on our streets. This year we had a list of over 180 people who died… and there are so many more people who were not on this list! There seems to be more and more people each year who are dying on our streets.
I was out at the encampments today checking in with folks. Things down on Cesar Chavez looked pretty much the same as last week, but people reported SFPD came today and told them they are doing sweeps early tomorrow morning. The cops were threatening to arrest anyone who was still there in the morning, but they are threatened on a regular basis and never really know when sweeps will actually happen. There were no longer ‘notices to vacate’ posted. The thing that was out of the norm was that people reported Caltrain had engineers with them today scoping things out so they may be putting fences up.
This is a picture of Br. Damien walking in a vigil for Luis Demetrio Gongora Pat, the man who was experiencing homelessness and ended up getting shot and killed by the police this morning. Behind him is a line up of police on motorcycles who followed us while we marched. Continue reading →
If I was experiencing homelessness these days the place I would go to seek refuge from the elements and to get some sleep would be in the doorway of a church. The reason I would go to a Christian church to sleep is because of the parable in their teaching about the Rich Man and Lazarus. In case you don’t know it, I’ll provide an overview… Continue reading →
Division Street, San Francisco- SFPD & DPW did “sweeps” of the encampment and erected a fence.
We went on a 5AM outreach shift this morning because folks in the encampments were told by SFPD that they were going to be doing sweeps and taking their tents and stuff. We didn’t see cops or DPW, but it looks like they’d already made the rounds, at least to this area. Continue reading →
Tonight was the Annual Interfaith Memorial for All Our Homeless Dead. We gathered on the steps of City Hall… standing out in the rain. It was difficult not to be conscious of the many people living on the streets exposed to the storm. I took this picture of my St. Jude candle from the top of the steps where I stood.
I was asked by the San Francisco Interfaith Council, on behalf of the Coalition on Homelessness, to read the names and ages of some of those who have died in our community. That was a real honor for me. It was one of those moment where you just gotta take a deep breath and do it. It was a beautiful memorial.