‘Never Quit!’ RIP Mike Zint, Homeless rights warrior and visionary

Mike Zint.
PHOTO/JAMES CARTMILL

Mike Zint, longtime homeless activist, died at age 53 on Valentine’s Day, 2020, from severe lung disease and pneumonia. After some years of homelessness, he found his mission and passion organizing in the movement for homeless rights and self-reliance in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. He wrote frequently for the People’s Tribune, and was widely respected and loved, in the tent communities he organized, in various actions he strategized, and far beyond. For more about this visionary leader, see the ‘Latest News’ in the Peoples Tribune website. Below are two of his latest writings, the bottom one the last thing he wrote. —Sarah Menefee, co-founder with Mike Zint of ‘First they came for the homeless’

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Family

Winter is here. So is the cold and the rain. I shared 13 winters with my homeless family. 13 rainy seasons. Each year there were less of us, and more of us. The familiar faces were replaced by new faces with the same story. Nothing is changing quickly.

We are dying. This is known by everyone who is homeless, and by everyone who helps the homeless.

This year, I’m thankful to have met all those people who are no longer living. You all live on in every action this group takes. Every victory we enjoy is because the fallen motivated us to fight for the falling.

Never quit. I know we can change things because we have. Thank you, family.

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The richest stand on the backs of the poorest.

When the poorest can no longer support them, the rich fall.

Money cannot buy intelligence.

—Mike Zint

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