Monday, April 13, 2009

My Street Manifesto

We are all equally in need of food to live.

We all require a good night's sleep in order to be our best.

We all go to the bathroom.

Food, shelter, bathrooms and showers are a need, not a privilege. And though we may not be aware of it, we are all equally dependent on others for access to these rights. Those who work are dependent upon people buying goods and services, banks that recognize their pay as legal tender and to the government that requires they receive a minimum wage. Those who shop in grocery stores are dependent upon countless farmers, truckers, and the stores that recognize their cash, credit or check as worthy of exchange for food. Those who live under a shelter are dependent upon governments who recognize their right to be there and others who honor their ownership, vacancy or rental agreements.

There are some who are said to have less right to food, shelter, bathrooms and showers. Others choose not to recognize what they have to offer as a contribution worthy of the vital nutrients and care that their body needs to stay healthy and alive. Others decide what type of food, shelter, bathrooms and showers would be best for them, allowing them no choice or ability to honor the particular needs of their body.

Yet because we are all dependent, none of us can be sure of the future or if others will someday decide that our contributions are worthy of access to food, shelter, bathrooms and showers (let alone the other things we require).

Bodies come in a variety of abilities, shapes, sizes and colors. Whenever possible it is best to let people choose what is right for their body. That is why we must not only ensure that all people have access and choice about the food, shelter, bathrooms and showers they use, but also share skills and listen to those whose needs are different from our own.

Join the Welcome Ministry, a life changing community of San Franciscans responding to poverty one person, one sidewalk, one city at a time. Together we can acknowledge and celebrate the ways we are independently dependent upon one another.


Jeremy Nickel said...

Preach it sister. My biggest regret of my time in SF is that I never did a street retreat. I pledge now to participate in one within my first year of call. Thanks Megan for keeping this issue right where it should be, in our face and not hidden away.

Case Garver said...

I'm joining the Welcome Ministry! I can't wait!