Learn More About It: Homelessness

13homelessThe 9th Annual Siouxland Sleep-Out will be held Friday evening, November 8 at Lewis and Clark Park to raise awareness for those who lack suitable housing. A good book, besides allowing time for reflection and relaxation, raises awareness of the issues that its characters face. We recommend the following memoirs and novels that offer insight into the issues of homelessness.

Memoirs:
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls recounts an unconventional, poverty-stricken upbringing at the hands of deeply dysfunctional parents.
The Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall chronicles the struggle required to make and maintain a friendship across a wide cultural canyon, and the level of commitment required to be an effective leader in service to others.
The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner is a rags-to-riches saga of a homeless father who cares for his son on the streets of San Francisco on his way to becoming a crown prince of Wall Street.
An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny by Laura Schroff describes the making of a life-changing friendship that spans several decades.
The Next Better Place: Memories of My Misspent Youth by Michael C. Keith recalls bizarre characters encountered in rundown rooming houses and homeless missions in 1959 when 11-year-old Michael hitchhikes across the country with his estranged, alcoholic dad.
Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray. From a 15-year-old living on the streets to her acceptance into Harvard, this author’s story prompted a Lifetime movie and more.
Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream by Adam Shepard. While living as a homeless person for one year, a college graduate learns about what it takes to break the cycle of poverty.
We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Helped Us Succeed by The Three Doctors. Making a pact to stick together in their impoverished Newark neighborhood, three boys find the strength and determination to complete high school, college, and attend medical school together.

Novels:
In The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh a ward of the state uses her knowledge about flowers to gradually and fitfully make her way back into the world.
W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton features best-selling PI Kinsey Milhone who looks into the death of a homeless man.
Street Lawyer by John Grisham is about a shooting at a prestigious law firm that prompts one attorney to leave the firm and help street people.

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