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Ed Shurna
Ed Shurna is the executive director at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. He has organized in Chicago’s neighborhoods for more than 40 years.

Entries by Ed Shurna

'Isn't This the Best Pope Ever?!'

(1) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 11:17 AM

"Isn't this the best pope ever!"

I turn on TV last night and Jon Stewart on The Daily Show is talking about the Pope. Last week, Chris Hayes says, somewhat jokingly, on his nightly MSNBC news show, "Isn't this the best pope ever!" Curious, I pick up a copy of...

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Take Back Chicago

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 4:06 PM

Are you upset with the closing of mental health facilities? Loss of affordable housing? Corporate loopholes? Shrinking middle class?

If you are looking for a sign of hope in troubling times, you need to check out Take Back Chicago. This is a movement of community organizations, unions, religious institutions...

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Chicago Is Seoul, Bangkok, Jakarta...

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2012 | 3:05 PM

A couple of weeks ago I was in Seoul, Korea for a conference on community organizing in Asia. While there, I witnessed a massive rally in support of contingent/temporary workers (workers who get paid minimum wage with no benefits and no guarantees about full time employment). In Seoul, Bangkok, Jakarta...

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Homeless in Seoul, Korea

(1) Comments | Posted November 19, 2012 | 3:00 PM

I recently had the privilege of visiting Seoul, South Korea. As part of my trip, I talked to several homeless organizations. One of the homeless men I met with was Mr. Lee. In 1997 he lost his job when the company he worked for (making clothes for school kids) was...

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Homeless, Jobless, Hopeful in Korea

(1) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 1:20 PM

Last week I was privileged to speak at an International Convention in Seoul, Korea on the topic of community organizing. The mayor of Seoul and the Seoul Welfare Foundation sponsored this event, which drew people from Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Korea and the United States to speak.

As part of my...

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Cosmic Prayer

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2012 | 5:25 PM

A few months ago, I welcomed James into the world. My grandson joined our cosmic journey on January 25. Several weeks ago, my son and his wife presented baby James to family and friends for a spiritual baptism. Below is the prayer I offered as part of the welcome celebration.

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How Much is a Homeless Teenager Worth?

(3) Comments | Posted May 25, 2012 | 11:31 AM

How much is a homeless teenager worth?

How do you talk with a legislator about the impact of budget cuts? A group of homeless youth who are part of an organization known as the Hello Youth Group made a YouTube video and then went to...

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Can We Put Our Trust in the Infrastructure Trust

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2012 | 6:48 PM

The investors in Mayor Emanuel's proposed Infrastructure Trust will expect a significant return on their investments. The city realizes that in order to provide this return, it will have to charge user fees and not just rely on savings from the infrastructure improvements. This may result in increased fees for...

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Welcome to Life, James

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2012 | 1:25 PM

Welcome to life, James.

I became the proud grandfather of James, 9 lb. 2 oz. last Thursday (Jan. 25). My grandson is the first son born to my son David, and his wife, Gina. I popped a bottle of Champagne to share with co-workers at lunch. (That's the first time...

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Sex and the City

(0) Comments | Posted January 26, 2012 | 3:02 PM

"I know you won't let me die in the street," a former prostitute told Judge Rosemary Higgins as she left the courtroom. On January 19th a seemingly unlikely group of lawyers, judges, former prostitutes and community supporters gathered together to present awards to Judge Paul Biebel, presiding judge,...

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The Original Occupiers

(1) Comments | Posted December 8, 2011 | 4:21 PM

I admire the Occupy movement but because I've worked with homeless people for 16 years, I need to clarify something: Homeless people were the original "Occupiers."

In the early 1980's, as more and more youth, women and men were becoming homeless in Chicago and across the U.S., people now...

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What Is Necessary

(1) Comments | Posted November 22, 2011 | 10:59 AM

The Occupy Movement rightly attacks the disparity between the top 1 percent and the other 99 percent. The rich are getting richer. The middle class treads water. And the poor, working or not, are drowning.

When I hear about the government balancing the budget on the backs...

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