Cops Shot & Killed a Homeless Man Today…

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

Seeking Refuge in Church Doorways

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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

Refuge From the Storm

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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

Interview: LGBT Youth and Homelessness

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I was asked to write an article (Q&A) on LGBT youth homelessness for a Catholic website…  Interview: LGBT Youth and Homelessness

Commentary on Rolling Stones’ article “The Forsaken: A Rising Number of Homeless Gay Teens Are Being Cast Out by Religious Families”

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Here is a link to the Rolling Stones article… “The Forsaken: A Rising Number of Homeless Gay Teens Are Being Cast Out by Religious Families”

This article hit a nerve for me… I will explain why.  Continue reading

How Can a Parish Respond to Pope Francis’ Vision of the Church?

I heard a Franciscan speak about his experience with social ministries and social justice and he ‘spoke my language’ so I asked if he could find time to chat with me… so I could pick his brain a bit because he clearly has a history of organizing within the Church.  When he heard about my experience in social work, social justice, community organizing, and advocacy on homelessness, he said he wanted to pick my brain about a program for his parish.

This is what I wrote him after our afternoon together… somewhat of a stream of consciousness and piecing together a puzzle.  I was reflecting back what I was hearing from him and things that came up in our discussion.  I was presenting questions and ideas for him to consider, but it’s relevant to any parish community.

Be Bold and Creative!

Be Bold and Creative!

Continue reading

San Francisco Faith Community & Homelessness

This is an article I wrote for the Coalition on Homelessness “Street Sheet” publication.

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A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring.

Faith communities have proven to be a significant force for creating positive change in San Francisco.  They have modeled effective ways of responding to the challenges of our times and promoted methods to put their teachings into action.  It is an effort that requires continual reevaluation to assess the ways in which we are responding to the poor and marginalized among us. Continue reading