Songs about homelessness and gentrification.

Here are a few songs that address injustice, homelessness, poverty, and gentrification...

Living Colour singing about gentrification...
Whereas this song stems out of New York City's East Village, it speaks to the lasting and traumatic effects of gentrification everywhere. This song is extremely relevant because I have seen the painful consequences of gentrification in Uptown, causing me to address and mourn over it repeatedly on this blog: see Uptown: Choose Love
"Open Letter (To A Landlord)"

Now you can tear a building down
But you can't erase a memory
These houses may look all run down
But they have a value you can't see...
This is my neighborhood
This is where I come from
I call this place my home
You call this place a slum
You want to run all the people out
This what you're all about
Treat poor people just like trash
Turn around and make big cash
Prophets of Rage singing about tent cities, homelessness and inequality...
“‘Living on the 110’ is a song that speaks to the issue of homelessness,” Morello said in a statement. “The 110 is a freeway in Los Angeles and living beneath it are thousands of homeless people. Bentleys and Rolls Royces roaring by are literally driving on top of the poor and their makeshift homes, a picture perfect analogy for the grotesque economic inequality that plagues our times.”
"Living on the 110"

Living on the 110
Four sharing one tent
Can't afford no rent
Forgotten by the government
Feels like a life time
Stuck and struck down
Waiting for the right time
Running out of luck now
And it's damn shame
See it from the fast lane
Living in the jungle
Tent city struggle
You drive by see the family camped out
By the underpass
You got your blinders on
You want to hit the gas
Living on the 110
There's no end to the poverty, stopping me
You pretend there's democracy, hypocrisy
This is the reality

Rage Against The Machine singing Bruce Springsteen's song about injustice, poverty, and homelessness... 
Tom Joad is the protagonist in the realist novel "Grapes of Wrath" - this song encourages us to embrace the spirit of Tom Joad in the face of injustice
"Ghost of Tom Joad"

Men walking 'long the railroad tracks
Going someplace, there's no going back
Highway patrol choppers coming up over the ridge
Hot soup on a campfire under the bridge
Shelter line stretching 'round the corner
Welcome to the new world order
Families sleeping in the cars in the southwest
No home, no job, no peace, no rest
Well the highway is alive tonight
But nobody's kidding nobody about where it goes
I'm sitting down here in the campfire light
Searching for the ghost of Tom Joad

My friend Glenn Kaiser singing about living on the streets...
The man pictured below is someone I knew personally. He went by Frenchie and blessed many of us in Uptown. He lived outside, was quite fragile and sick until we finally talked him into coming into our shelter. From there, we helped him get an income and he was eventually housed.
A link to Frenchie's story: Rest In Peace Old Buddy
"Cardboard Box"

Once was a husband
Things went south
Had us a home
‘Til we lost our house
Wall Street broker
Trashed our stocks
Economy folded
Livin’ in a cardboard box

All they can see
Are birds of a flock
God have mercy
Get me outta this cardboard box

My friend Jed Brewer leading his song "So Here I Am" at The Bridge
This is one of many songs he has written specifically to help encourage those who are struggling with the likes of homelessness, incarceration, and addiction. The Bridge is a Church service that I'm honored to be part of; it happens every Tuesday night on the West Side of Chicago, where they make sure every person (despite anyone's circumstances or pasts) who attends knows they're loved, precious in the sight of God and VIPs in His Kingdom. 

Be inspired... 
Go and help those in need.
Love your neighbors


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