Prose/Honorable mention

Julia Miller


Julia Miller looks like an anarchist: tight red plaid pants with straps hanging down, black zippers in strange places, and a black Misfits t-shirt with the neck cut out. Her hair could be black, with red, or pink, or green tips, and is usually tucked up under a black hat. She wears brightly-colored eyeshadow under owlish glasses, and her lipstick is always perfectly applied, either black or red.

 Julia is someone who gets shit done. 

 In the 90s, she did food distribution to those in need with the group Food Not Bombs, and in 2015, when participation in that group dwindled, she started handing out food and clothing (socks and hats) to the people hanging around the shelter district. She learned about Punks with Lunch (PWL), a national organization that distributed food AND provided harm reduction supplies, and she said “Let’s do that!” A former drug user, Julia wanted to help those who were using in a way that she hadn’t been helped.

 The first PWL distribution was on Thanksgiving Day in 2017. She and her partner handed out sandwiches in a local park. They had a fundraiser and found other groups they could work with to get the unhoused what they needed to survive: Narcan, fentanyl testing strips, needles, food, menstrual supplies, and safe sex kits. And they kept making sandwiches.

 This went on for a few months, and then the City stepped in and shut them down, stating food safety concerns and a lack of permits. The people were still hungry, and cold. So, Julia looked into commercial kitchens that would let her make sandwiches in their spaces for free. More people started helping, permits were pulled, and the hungry people were fed.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

Connect with us