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Former homeless man
PHOTO/JEFF ROBINSON

By Lenette Evans

Many years ago Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights leader, once said, “I have a dream.”

He was one of the best men that ever lived in this country, a man of God who had a vision and was bold enough to stand up, and step out in faith for what he truly believed in. He made a difference to people in his community and around the world.
 
He said: "I HAVE A DREAM... that one day Black girls and boys will join hands with white boys and girls, sisters, and brothers.....I HAVE A DREAM.....to one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by their character."
 
In 1964, when Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, he said, "I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind....I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.”
 
Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy was the acceleration of civil liberties for all Americans but especially for the Black and the poor. He fought against RACISM in our country and believed in peace and love for us the way Jesus Christ loved us.
 
In his life he was arrested thirty times for his involvement in civil rights activities and spent time in prison. He spoke truth and justice for all and came against what the enemy has done in America.
 
My Birthday was on January 15th, just as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s was. It was an honor. I am proud to also know I go to First Assembly Of God Church, in St. Joseph, Michigan, which is a multi-cultured church that has love and deep compassion for ALL people.
 
Let’s stand up people and get rid of the SPIRIT of RACISM that has saturated and blinded us in our communities and let’s be Christ-like and love one another and make positive community change.

Lenette Evans
269-876-1848
SavingSouls1@yahoo.com



By Sandy Perry

All of us who labor in homeless ministries know first-hand the individual stories of those who battle homelessness. What we frequently do not see, because the corporate media deliberately hides it, are the systemic causes and the economic and political decisions that create homelessness in the first place.

Since 1978, the Federal HUD housing budget has been cut by 65% -- a total of 54 billion in constant dollars. America as a result has a shortage of five million extremely low-income housing units today.

Mass homelessness as we know it did not even exist in America from the end of the Great Depression through the late 1970s. It is not an act of God, not an eternal condition, and not a mystery. It is a calculated, evil, bipartisan government policy based on the fact that the capitalist system, with its labor replacing technology, no longer needs workers and therefore will not provide for their welfare. It is time for people to rise up.

The individual suffering of the homeless is cruel and unnecessary, but it need not be in vain. The homeless, formerly homeless, unemployed, and all their supporters can pool together our individual moral struggles and strengths. We can inspire and help build a social and political movement to create a system that abolishes homelessness, poverty, and unemployment forever.

The Bible says there should be no poor among us, because God has blessed us with such a rich land and resources. The only question is whether we the people will obey his commands and fight for a system that distributes our wealth equitably.




Affrordable housing
Sharon Jasper speaking at the rally in front of
the St. Bernand housing development
PHOTO/TED QUANT
By Ted Quant

Former residents and activists rallied in front of the St. Bernard Public Housing development in New Orleans on February 16 to continue the fight to stop Columbia Residential's demolition and redevelopment plans. Sharon Jasper, a former resident, condemned the corruption and political games being played with people's lives. Residents have a proposal that offers more housing, more jobs and savings than the Columbia proposal The Columbia proposal is a sweetheart deal because Columbia owes HUD Secretary Alfonse Jackson $250,000 to $500,000. Carlton, a homeless worker who lives under the Interstate 10 overpass, said, "Give us one of these buildings and the materials and there are enough skilled homeless workers to renovate these ourselves. There is plenty work to be done and we can do it." Speakers also condemned the mayor for declaring he would begin enforcing the city's "public habitation" ordinance — a law where homeless people will face arrest simply because they are living in the only affordable place: the city’s public rights of way. Given the dire shortage of New Orleans low-income housing, this law all but guarantees that thousands of people will be jailed for the "crime" of not having enough money for housing. Justice demands that people join together to stop the City's plan to criminalize New Orleans’ homeless and to fight for more public and affordable housing now.



This article originated in the People's Tribune
PO Box 3524, Chicago, IL 60654, 773-486-3551, info@peoplestribune.org.
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