House Keys Not Handcuffs

Paul Boden
With additional essays by Art Hazelwood and Bob Prentice

House Keys Not Handcuffs: Homeless Organizing, Art and Politics in San Francisco and Beyond.

Written by Paul Boden with additional essays by friends and longtime allies, Art Hazelwood and Bob Prentice. It includes 67 images created by printmakers, painters, muralists, cartoonists and photographers giving a history of the art made in the struggle.

House Keys Not Handcuffs is a reflection on over 30 years of homeless organizing in San Francisco.  It is an attempt to sort out what went well and what did not as a community begins to organize in order to hold public and private institutions accountable.  Its purpose is not only to distill the lessons we have learned, but to encourage others to document and reflect on their own experiences in the hope that we can collectively contribute to a stronger, more broadly-based movement. Artwork has always been a vital part of this organizing.

The book draws from the insights of Paul Boden, whose own experiences on the street as an activist, and as a co-founder of the Coalition on Homelessness and later, the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP), give him a unique and wide perspective. It is a voice for people who have no power or privilege except for their capacity to organize and demand social justice.

Homelessness is a visible manifestation of a society that is lacking in justice.  We offer House Keys Not Handcuffs in the hope that it will help re-invigorate a social justice movement in this country that respects all of us as human beings and ensures that all people have a right to exist and a place to live as basic human rights.

About the Author 

Paul Boden, Executive Director of the Western Regional Advocacy Project served as Executive Director of San Francisco’s Coalition on Homelessness for 16 years and was a founder of the Community Housing Partnership, a nationally recognized permanent housing organization. He has received dozens of community awards during the last thirty years and recognition from the City of San Francisco, the State of California, and the Congress of the United States. Paul regularly writes articles and op-eds and travels throughout the country giving talks and trainings.

About the Additional Essays

We Won’t Be Made Invisible: Art of Homeless Activism by Art Hazelwood describes the growing influence of art in homeless community organizing.  As artist and activist, Art has contributed work to the Coalition on Homelessness since 1994 and been “Minister of Culture” for WRAP since its inception. He is author and curator of Hobos to Street People: Artists’ Responses to Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present, which chronicles the ways in which art became an integral part of organizing culture and strategy.

Homeless Organizing and City Policy by Bob Prentice documents some of the ways in which homeless activism has influenced and changed public policies over the last three decades. Bob was director of homeless programs for the San Francisco Department of Public Health during the first decade covered in House Keys, Not Handcuffs, with lead responsibility for city homeless policy and lead author of Beyond Shelter: A Homeless Plan for San Francisco during the administration of Mayor Art Agnos.


Upcoming Book Readings in November (2014)

Howard Zinn Book Fair
Saturday, November 15th - 11:00 AM
Mission High School (Harriet Tubman Room)
3750 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114

About Howard Zinn Book Fair: The Howard Zinn Bookfair to be held at San Francisco’s  Mission High School on November 15th 2014 is a celebration of the books that make us rethink our roles in the world and connect people with hidden histories.

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Freedom Voices Press Celebrates 25 Years
Tuesday, November 18th - 7:00 PM
City Lights Booksellers
261 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133

About the Publisher: In 1989, Editor Jess Clarke organized Freedom Voices to publish literature that speaks to or from voiceless communities on the margins. Join Freedom Voices’ community in celebrating a 25 year milestone with the release of three new books by Margot Pepper, Paul Boden, and J. Douglas Allen-Taylor.

Related items:

About Paul Boden

Some Information
Paul Boden, Executive Director of the Western Regional Advocacy Project served as Executive Director of San Francisco’s Coalition on Homelessness for 16 years and was a founder of the Community Housing Partnership, a nationally recognized permanent housing organization. He has received dozens of community awards during the last thirty years and recognition from the City of San Francisco, the State of California, and the Congress of the United States. Paul regularly writes articles and op-eds and travels throughout the country giving talks and trainings.