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California Today: Why Does It Cost So Much to Live in California? - Mike McPhate New York Times

California is crazy expensive. But should it be?

The Upshot recently took a look at how much housing costs in various cities in the United States in relation to how much economists think it should cost. Not surprisingly, coastal California tops the list of the country’s most overpriced places.

As the chart shows, the worst discrepancy is the San Francisco metropolitan area, where a standard house should cost about $300,000 — but in reality is more like $800,000 (based on 2013 figures). Next comes cities and counties in coastal Southern California — basically a band of overpriced housing that stretches downward from Ventura to the San Diego border. read more

Murals along Clarion Alley in San Francisco address the rising housing costs. Credit Preston Gannaway for The New York Times

Murals along Clarion Alley in San Francisco address the rising housing costs. Credit Preston Gannaway for The New York Times

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How America counts its homeless – and why so many are overlooked - Alastair Gee The Guardian

One in five homeless Americans live in California, where the problem is especially acute. In the Golden State and three other western states – Hawaii, Nevada and Oregon – more than 50% of homeless people are categorized as unsheltered, meaning they are living in the streets, vehicles or parks, in places not fit for humans to stay. In New York, by comparison, the number is less than 5%. read more

Homeless people sleep in the pews at St Boniface Catholic Church as part of the Gubbio Project Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Homeless people sleep in the pews at St Boniface Catholic Church as part of the Gubbio Project

Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

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Homeless people are not cockroaches or vermin – they are human and have rights. Leilani Farha

"How governments, the media, and the affluent treat homeless people has a significant impact on how the rest of us view them and, ultimately, how homeless people view themselves. They have become a social group that, if not ignored completely, is faced with relentless vilification, discrimination, criminalisation and even hate crimes."

http://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2015/dec/21/homeless-people-not-vermin-cockroaches-human-rights?CMP=share_btn_tw

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The Gentrification of our Livelihoods 1.0

Christopher editied the video "San Francisco 2000: The Gentrification of Our Livelihoods 1.0."

Christopher has taken some of the footage from Megan's 2000 project "Better Homes and Gardens" that shows her distributing “Home” signs throughout the 16th and Mission Streets area and overlaid it with interviews and recordings from the SF Supervisors’ Finance Committee meeting, October 4, 2000 of Bay Area artists that Megan did with Gordon Winiemko for their installation "WE LOSE SPACE/YOU LOSE CULTURE!" at the San Francisco Art Commission Grove Street Gallery in 2000.

It provides a very sad and poignant foreshadowing to the current crisis of gentrification in SF - a cautionary reflection on the changes that have happened in the Mission District over the past 15 years. We thought it was really bad back then; however, watching this footage now a decade and a half later what stands out is how diverse the neighborhood looked then – and accessible to a broad range of cultures and incomes – and that was on Valencia Street! Probably 85% of the small businesses, orgs, and SROs Megan went in and gave signs to were owned/run by people of color and served low- to middle- incomes.

It’s also eerie and tragic how the interviews/recordings of artists/ arts administrators from 2000 could easily have been taken from today. The only reason the crisis in 2000 didn't escalate to where we're currently at then is because the dotcom market crashed 6 months after these interviews.

The pieces provides a good idea as to what we can expect unless more legislative measures are taken to protect the people, organizations, and small businesses left that have created the vibrant, diverse, and progressive culture historically known in the Bay Area.

Interviews and recordings from SF Supervisors’ Finance Committee, October 2000 include:

Nadia King, Photographer, Videographer, Dancer
Michael Med-o Whitson, Co-Director of 848 Community Art Space (now CounterPULSE)
Debra Walker, Artist
David Lawrence, Multi-Media Artist
Jared Kaplan, Dancer, Emerging Choreographer
Keith Hennessy, Co-Founder, 848 Community Art Space (now CounterPULSE)
Trisha Lagaso, Executive Director, Southern Exposure Gallery
Karen Garmen, Book Artist
Peter Rothblatt, Associate Director, Rhythm & Motion Dance Studio
Meg Mack, Artist
Jaime Cortez, Program Manager, Galeria de la Raza; Artist, Writer
Debbie Mink, Dancer, Devilettes
Sonny Smith, Musician, Writer
Jo Kreiter, Dancer, Choreographer, Performer, Flyaway Productions
Benji Whalen, Artist

"San Francisco 2000: The Gentrification of Our Livelihoods 1.0" Edited by Christopher Statton "Art Strikes Back!" Performance Series organized by Lise Swenson and Megan Wilson, Mission District, San Francisco, CA, 2000; Music by Sonny Smith; video footage by Lise Swenson, David Lawrence, Gordon Winiemko; and Julie Konop.

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy McNally, Artist
Megan Wilson, Artist; Grant Writer, Oasis For Girls
Will Johnson, Songwriter, Musician
Krissy Keefer, Co-Founder Wallflower Order (Dance Brigade); Lease-holder, Dance Mission
Geoff Chadsey, Artist, Curator at Southern Exposure Gallery
Rachel Kaplan, Artist; Founder, AARGG (All Against Ruthless, Greedy Gentrification)
Todd Edelman, Artist, Writer; Volunteer, ATA (Artist Television Access)
Katie Barnhill, Dancer
Scott MacLeod, Writer, Performance Artist, Visual Artist
Nicole Hickman, Artist In Education Coordinator, Southern Exposure Gallery, Graduate Student, Stanford University, Cultural Production
Mark Gregory, Musician, 17 Evergreen
Victoria McNichol Kelly, Visual Artist, Actor, Dancer
Aaron Noble, Artist, Co-Founder, Clarion Alley Mural Project
Jill Weinberg Pfeiffer, Artist, Co-Founder, Oasis For Girls

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Better Homes & Gardens Today Celebration at ATA Wednesday, April 29th 6pm - 10pm

Less than a week away! Getting excited for an amazing night!!
Reception starts at 6pm.

Performance by Jason Wyman and poetry reading by Marina Lazzara starting at 7pm.

Jean Jeanie takes the stage to play some tunes at 8pm followed by the music of Banda Sin Nombre at 9:15pm.

Join us for a full night of community celebration!

And please buy a pair of signs to help support the Gubbio Project, the Coalition on Homelessness, and At The Crossroads. All proceeds - 100% - goes to these three organizations serving those who are struggling with homelessness and/or housing instability. The signs are $100 for a set of two and are part of a limited edition of 300 sets of signs.

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SB608 Hearing Everyone Deserves A #Right2Rest April 7th!!!

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SB608 Hearing Everyone Deserves A #Right2Rest April 7th!!!

March 25, 2015

 Honorable Carol Liu
California State Senate
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: Right to Rest Act of 2015, SB 608 (Liu) – Support

 Dear Senator Liu,

Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP), a 22-year-old public arts organization located in San Francisco’s Mission District, supports your bill, SB 608, which will end the criminalization of rest and accompanying violations of basic human and civil rights for all people, regardless of their housing status. In doing so, SB 608 would encourage the diversion of expenditures on citing and jailing people for resting in public spaces on efforts to prevent homelessness.

 California, with only 12 percent of the country’s overall population but 22 percent of its homeless population and 25 percent of its homeless veteran population, is at the epicenter of the criminalization of homelessness. According to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, California cities are substantially more likely than cities in other states to ban rest. While only 33 percent of non-California cities restrict this activity, 74 percent of California cities ban the practice.

Researchers from the Policy Advocacy Clinic at the University of California at Berkeley Law School analyzed the prevalence of these types of municipal codes restricting rest and sharing of food in 58 California cities for its report “California’s New Vagrancy Laws: The Growing Enactment and Enforcement of Anti-Homeless Laws in the Golden State.”  Researchers identified over 500 municipal laws criminalizing standing, sitting, resting, sleeping and sharing of food in public places as well as laws making it illegal to ask for money, nearly nine laws per city, on average. The study also found that the number of ordinances targeting those behaviors rose along with the rise in homelessness following the sharp decline of federal funding for affordable housing that was cut in the early 1980s and again with the Great Recession in 2008.

Criminalizing practices that are not criminal not only worsens the condition of people without homes, but also narrows their opportunities to escape homelessness. By acknowledging the failure of municipal laws that criminalize poverty and homelessness, we hope that passage of this legislation will improve the focus on more humane and effective responses to homelessness.  

The Right to Rest Act of 2015 will end the practice of citing and imprisoning Californians for resting, sharing food or practicing religion in public.  

One of the reason’s that Clarion Alley Mural Project is so passionate about SB 608 is that a number of folks have contacted CAMP over the last several years to let us know that they had been harassed on the alley for money by guys with “druggie auras” and who at times have become verbally aggressive and have made visitors to the alley nervous and uncomfortable. This has created a situation in which the police (the Mission Police Station is directly across from Clarion Alley) will now patrol the alley and harass and give citations to anyone who is sitting on the alley, which also includes artists taking a break from painting. I myself was detained for 30 minutes last year by 2 police officers for sitting on the ground and resting across from the mural I was working on.

The men (and sometimes boys) who the police harass or cite on the alley are often homeless or housing unstable and part of the street community. They aren’t “bad people,” rather the opposite – at heart they’re very kind and care about the alley and the murals – as the space is part of their home and it is their community. However, they’re struggling and often desperate because they are in pain – physically, emotionally, and/or mentally … or they’re hungry … or cold … or in desperate need of medical care. Some are addicted to drugs/alcohol … and some are recovering from addiction … or are seriously trying to get help. So far we aren’t aware of any incidents in which anyone has become physically violent. At least two of these men are formally part of CAMP – and often help with maintaining the murals on the alley. In fact, they both regularly repair murals and clean up tags – as they are both artists and care about the alley because it is their home/community. 

From a broader perspective, these individuals reflect a much deeper concern – one that’s become especially glaring in San Francisco – the growing divide and disparity between the rich and everyone else. San Francisco’s “leadership” is catering heavily to the wealthy – in every way, shape, and form – and leaving everyone else struggling, and often desperate, and many on the street with NO alternatives. Many of the city’s services have been closed, or whittled way down. Sadly, San Francisco is becoming a city that invests heavily in shit – literally – as it continues to cultivate a culture that spends much of its money on high-end restaurants and boutique foodie ventures so that its new 1% residents are blowing hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars in an hour or less – so they can just shit on the rest of the city … while many of the folks they’re pushing out are on the streets and starving.

Clarion Alley Mural Project supports SB 608 and thanks you for introducing this important legislation.

Sincerely,

Megan Wilson, Director
Clarion Alley Mural Project

cc:  Paul Boden, Western Regional Advocacy Project (Co-Sponsor)
Jessica Bartholow, Western Center on Law and Poverty (Co-Sponsor)

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Returning to ATA for April

11078123_826304280794380_1879462372668046402_o.jpg

for immediate release:

ATA (Artists’ Television Access) 

992 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

April 1st – April 29th

Closing Night Party April 29th

visible 24/7 through storefront window and in gallery during business hours

press contact:

ATA Gallery:

gallery@atasite.org

betterhomesandgardenstoday@gmail.com

Contact above for hi-res stills and interviews

For the month of April, artists Christopher Statton and Megan Wilson will be returning to ATA’s (Artists’ Television Access) window and gallery with their project Better Homes & Gardens Today. In October 2014 the artists launched the project at ATA with their month-long window installation and performance.

On April 29th, Statton and Wilson will host a closing night party at ATA, featuring music, food, dancing, and community. Jean Jeanie, from the band Future Twin, will be preforming a solo set followed by a set from Sin Nombre.

Through Better Homes & Gardens Today Wilson and Statton are partnering with the Gubbio Project, the Coalition On Homelessness, and At The Crossroads to: 1) Heighten awareness around “home” and the realities of homelessness; 2) Cultivate a dialog within communities and amongst disparate groups; and 3) Raise money to benefit each of these critical organizations that work to address homelessness in San Francisco.

Wilson and Statton, will spend April continuing to paint “Home” signs in different languages in the window space of ATA that will then be displayed as part of the installation in the ATA gallery space. Each sign features the single word for “Home” painted in black against a color background with a flower incorporated. The signs are painted on 1⁄4" plywood and range in size from 12"x18" to 16"x30".

The signs are available for purchase for $100/pair. The purchasers will get one sign for his/herself and the other sign will be donated to one of the three partner organizations to use as they see best fit (e.g. the Gubbio Project will be hanging the signs on the pews at St. Boniface Church during their hours of operation). Purchasers will also be provided with more information on each of the organizations and how they can further help. All of the proceeds and the signs purchased for the organizations will be divided evenly and go to the three partners (Gubbio Project, Coalition On Homelessness, and At The Crossroads). 

Better Homes & Gardens Today was presented in San Francisco’s Roxie Theater’s storefront installation space in December 2014 – January 2015. The project will be featured in the traveling exhibition that will accompany the release of Nicholas Ganz’s new book Street Messages published by Dokument Press that includes works by Wilson. The exhibition will launch on June 20th at Lazarides // Editions in London with exhibitions to follow in New York, Paris, Singapore, Milano, Berlin, Essen, and Amsterdam.

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Chronicle Article - Signs point up poverty amid wealth in "Arts and Ends"

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Chronicle Article - Signs point up poverty amid wealth in "Arts and Ends"

Starting off the new year with some amazing press in the SF Chronicle's 96 Hours section. Thank you Jesse Hamlin for the kind words.

"About 15 years ago, during the first dot-com blast that unleashed a lot of money and greed in San Francisco, Megan Wilson started seeing a lot more people living on the streets of the Mission. And merchants and artists were being evicted from storefronts and studios on 16th Street as rents shot out of sight.

“The same thing is happening now, but on steroids,” says Wilson, an activist public artist whose gracefully crafted projects include various Clarion Alley murals and “Better Homes & Gardens,” her response to the 2000 Internet splurge and its fallout. The piece consisted of 250 hand-painted plywood signs saying “Home” — done in the font of Better Homes & Gardens magazine, with the “H” intertwined with flowers in the flowing style of William Morris — that appeared in the carts of homeless people and in windows of shops and restaurants threatened with eviction."

Read full article here: http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Bay-Area-arts-news-Jan-1-5988067.php

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HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

Roxie Theater Storefront Window
3125 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

December 15, 2014 – January 15, 2015
visible 24/7 through storefront window;
The artists will be painting in the window Th – Mon, 11am – 5pm (excluding holidays)

Returning to the Roxie for this holiday season, Christopher Statton and Megan Wilson are bringing their public art project Better Homes & Gardens Today to the historic 16th Street theater. Wilson and Statton met while working at the Roxie Theater where Statton served as Executive Director for four years; Wilson created the window installation “99%” that was also presented at Yerba Buena Center for The Arts and worked with Clarion Alley Mural Project to paint murals in the Little Roxie’s lobby and bathrooms.

A year later the two have continued to collaborate with their project Better Homes & Gardens Today, which started at The Roxie’s sister theater down the street, ATA (Artist’s Television Access) in October 2014. The project aims to:

1.     Heighten awareness around “home” and the realities of homelessness;

2.     Cultivate a dialog within communities and amongst disparate groups about housing instability; and

3.     Raise money to benefit the Gubbio Project, the Coalition On Homelessness, and At The Crossroads, organizations working to address homelessness in San Francisco. 

To date, Statton and Wilson have raised over $4,000 for the organizations.

Wilson and Statton are creating a limited edition of 300 pairs of hand-painted “Home” signs in different languages. The artists will spend December 15 – January 15 painting in the storefront window space of the Little Roxie Theater.

The limited edition signs are available for purchase for $100/pair through the artists during the hours they are painting at the Roxie and on the project's Website at: www.BetterHomesAndGardensToday.org.

The purchasers will get one sign and the other sign will be donated to one of the three partner organizations to use as they see best fit (e.g. the Gubbio Project will be hanging the signs on the pews at St. Boniface Church during their hours of operation). Purchasers will also be provided with more information on each of the organizations and how they can further help. 

All of the proceeds and the signs purchased for the organizations will be divided evenly and go to the three partners (Gubbio Project, Coalition On Homelessness, and At The Crossroads). 

As part of the project Statton and Wilson have been introduced to and reached out to some of the Bay Area's tech corporations and their employees, including Twitter, Facebook, Zendesk, Yammer, Google, Dropbox, and Salesforce to invite them to attend the project's events. The invitation was extended to these corporations, who are relatively new to the area, to provide them with the opportunity to learn about, contribute to, and support a community that is in great need and that they are now working/ living among and having a significant impact on.

Event at Gubbio Project with Twitter Employees during #FridayForGood

Event at Gubbio Project with Twitter Employees during #FridayForGood

Throughout the project Statton and Wilson are hosting free events at various locations (to date ATA and the Gubbio Project). The events include presentations by representatives from the participating organizations and facilitated discussions on:

1. The realities of being homeless;
2. What the culture and climate of homelessness is like in San Francisco; and 
3. What is truly needed to address this crisis - funding and policy change. 


Megan Wilson's original project Better Homes and Gardens is featured in San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 75 Years of Looking Forward edited by Janet Bishop, Corey Keller, and Sarah Roberts. In 2000 Wilson hand-painted 250 signs and distributed them to residents living on the streets and those in danger of eviction to place in their carts or windows as a sign of solidarity during a period in which evictions were skyrocketing in San Francisco. Footage of Better Homes and Gardens edited together by Christopher Statton is also included in the Oakland Museum's exhibition Fertile Ground in collaboration with SFMoMA.


L -> R: Signs painted during Wilson and Statton's residency at ATA in October; Margaret Cho supporting "Better Homes & Gardens Today" with her custom-made mini home sign.

L -> R: Signs painted during Wilson and Statton's residency at ATA in October; Margaret Cho supporting "Better Homes & Gardens Today" with her custom-made mini home sign.


Christopher Statton has been an organizer with Clarion Alley Mural Project since 2012 and was one of the collaborators on "The Wall of Shame and Solutions". Statton is the former Executive Director of San Francisco’s Roxie Theater (2010 – 2013). In 2013 he was awarded the Marlon Riggs Award by the San Francisco Film Critics Circle for “his significant contribution to San Francisco’s film community through the Roxie over the past four years.” In 2013 Statton was also awarded a Certificate of Honor by SF Supervisor David Campos for his “important and tireless work with the Roxie.” Statton was a founding member of the Sidewalk Sideshow, a project of the Marin Interfaith Council, which produced music shows with San Rafael’s street and homeless community. In addition, he is actively involved with the Gubbio Project in the Tenderloin as well as an Advisory Board member of the Tom Steel Clinic, which provides medical services for the HIV positive community in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Christopher Statton and Megan Wilson painting inside ATA's storefront. Photo by Daniel Hirsch.

Christopher Statton and Megan Wilson painting inside ATA's storefront. Photo by Daniel Hirsch.

Megan Wilson is an artist, writer, and non-profit consultant. She moved to the Bay Area in 1994 to attend the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2000 Wilson co-organized the performance/protest series Art Strikes Back in response to the extreme wave of gentrification displacement in San Francisco during the first "dotcom boom." In 2003 she curated, directed, and raised the funds for the international mural exchange and residency Sama-sama/ Together, a collaboration between artists from San Francisco and Yogyakarta Indonesia designed to foster understanding of Muslim and non-Muslim cultures following 9/11. From 2004 – 2008 she transformed her 1,600 sq. ft. living space into an installation that explored and challenged the meanings of “home” and “homelessness” through her project Home 1996-2008. Wilson has been a core organizer of the Clarion Alley Mural Project since 1998 and is one of the organizers of CAPITALISM IS OVER! If You Want It, a series of interruptions/ actions launched in 2010 that has included artists from around the world, responding to the negative impacts of capitalism. Wilson’s article The Gentrification of Our Livelihoods was published on  Stretcher.org in June 2014.  www.MeganWilson.com


The Gubbio Project
Since its founding in 2004 The Gubbio Project has offered refuge for thousands of people in the heart of the Tenderloin and encouraged connection between the housed and unhoused. For nine hours each weekday, 6am-3pm, the doors of the sanctuary of St. Boniface are open to all. The mission of The Gubbio Project is to provide a sacred space to sleep or rest and care services for those in need of a safe, compassionate respite that places dignity and respect in the highest regard. Each day, 250 people on average, enter the project, with 95 folks sleeping at any given time in the pews of St. Boniface and others accessing care services. We invite you to visit St. Boniface and see The Gubbio Project firsthand. www.thegubbioproject.org

Coaliton on Homelessness, San Francisco
26 Years of Resistance, Resilience and Re-Building
For decades, the Coalition on Homelessness has developed the leadership skills of homeless San Franciscans to forge true solutions to the housing crisis and beat back mean-spirited attacks against them. The Coalition on Homelessness is comprised of homeless people and allies who have been organizing together since 1987 to expand access to housing in one of the richest cities in the country, to protect the rights of the poorest people in our society, and to create real solutions to contemporary homelessness. http://www.cohsf.org/

At The Crossroads
The mission of At The Crossroads is to reach out to homeless youth and young adults at their point of need, and work with them to build healthy and fulfilling lives. Our innovative model focuses on young people who do not access traditional services and are disconnected from any type of consistent support. We remove common barriers to service by bringing our counselors onto the streets and shaping our support services around the needs of each individual client. http://atthecrossroads.org/
 

November 8, 2014 at the Coalition on Homelessness’ SLEEP-IN & Picket to call for an end to BART police harassment of people sleeping in transit stations

November 8, 2014 at the Coalition on Homelessness’ SLEEP-IN & Picket to call for an end to BART police harassment of people sleeping in transit stations

The Roxie Theater is the oldest continuously running cinema in the United States and has been at its location in San Francisco’s Mission District since it opened in 1909. Over a century later, the Roxie has remained true to its mission to promote and support truly independent film / filmmakers and programming that would likely never be presented at more mainstream, profit-based venues. The Roxie continues to stay rooted in a commitment to taking risks with non-traditional and experimental films – works that are critical to challenging the status quo and inspiring viewers. Films have become one of the most important and effective sources for presenting stories that need to be told and communities that need to be recognized. www.Roxie.com


Megan Wilson’s installation 99% in the Roxie’s storefront window, 2012

Megan Wilson’s installation 99% in the Roxie’s storefront window, 2012

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The Gentrification Of Our Livelihoods

Amazing and thoughtfully in depth article in Stretcher by Better Homes and Gardens Today's Megan Wilson examining the current trends in "placemaking", the arts, and the development of San Francisco which is exploiting and hurting communities that we all should be supporting. This article will appear in the upcoming edition of Reimagine, the magazine dedicated to Race, Poverty, and the Environment.

http://www.stretcher.org/features/the_gentrification_of_our_livelihoods/

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How Homelessness Can Compromise Mental Health

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How Homelessness Can Compromise Mental Health

The shelter system, a key element in San Francisco’s strategy for addressing homelessness, is far from a perfect solution. Not only are the shelters difficult for those with mental illness to navigate, the shelter environment could also make their problems worse.

Like many other cities, San Francisco has embraced a “housing first” policy, pulling people off the streets as a first step to address their other physical, behavioral and psychological challenges.

http://sfpublicpress.org/news/2014-11/how-homelessness-can-compromise-mental-health

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Why Poor People Stay Poor. Saving money costs money. Period.

"It’s assumed that we’re not unstable because we’re poor, we’re poor because we’re unstable. So let’s just talk about how impossible it is to keep your life from spiraling out of control when you have no financial cushion whatsoever. And let’s also talk about the ways in which money advice is geared only toward people who actually have money in the first place."

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2014/12/linda_tirado_on_the_realities_of_living_in_bootstrap_america_daily_annoyances.html

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STREET SHEET REACHES 25 YEAR MARK; ART AUCTION TO CELEBRATE ANNIVERSARY

This year, we are celebrating 25 years of The Street Sheet, the country’s oldest continuously published street newspaper, published by the Coalition and sold by impoverished San Franciscans. The Street Sheet started after the Coalition on Homelessness had extra newsletters left over from a Phil Collins benefit concert. Homeless members tried selling them on the street and reported people were buying them. The idea for a street newspaper was born, and the street newspaper has been replicated across the globe – with over 500,000 street newspapers world-wide sold for profit by destitute vendors. The Street Sheet is unique – for remaining fiercely independent, advertising free, and provides a perspective rarely seen in mainstream media, combining artwork, poetry and hard hitting journalism in a tabloid style paper. It is published twice monthly, and is distributed to over 17,000 readers.

http://www.cohsf.org/?p=59

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Poverty, Incarceration, and Criminal Justice Debt

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Poverty, Incarceration, and Criminal Justice Debt

In today’s economy, overwhelming debt is an unfortunate reality for millions of Americans.  From credit card debt to mortgage debt to student loan debt, Americans increasingly live off of borrowed money. But few realize how the criminal justice system imposes increasing debts on individuals. Worse still, criminal justice debt perpetuates mass incarceration.

http://talkpoverty.org/2014/12/02/criminal-justice-debt/

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