To anyone who has thought “Why don’t they just get a job,” I’d like to direct you to this article and CBS news video about kids who are struggling to do just that.
It is unwise to assume that homeless person you see on the sidewalk is simply scrounging off everyone else. Many of the homeless are actively involved in furthering their education, searching for or participating in transitional programs, and yes, some even actually have jobs. You try working a part time job for minimum wage and see how much money you have left over for rent after feeding yourself.
Despite the odds, and how it may seem to someone who doesn’t look closely enough, they are working hard to improve their lives.
As the school year begins in a down economy, Illinois educators are bracing for another rise in the number of homeless students.Last year, 35,619 Illinois students were homeless — up more than 1,800 students from the previous year and continuing a disturbing three-year trend.
via Student Homelessness On The Rise « CBS Chicago.
I got a nice 4-star review on Amazon.com and Goodreads. Judith compares the book to Willard Motley’s Knock On Any Door. Pretty cool!
Jo Sullivan helps a homeless boy, Chris, look for his missing girlfriend, carrying us deep into the Chicago’s underbelly where street kids struggle to survive. Their quest carries them deep into the macabre, where the homeless are fed into the sick ambitions of the rich. The stories of neglect and abuse that people her world are as real as the mystery of Lexie’s disappearance, and in the end, Borys creates not only a page turning mystery, but an authentic and moving picture of a bitter, harsh and cruel world, reminiscent, for me, of Willard Motley’s 1947 Chicago epic, Knock On Any Door, a story that moved me greatly back in the Fifties.
–Judith Kirsch, author of The Inheritors
But like words, numbers can be interpreted to serve a person’s agenda. When confronted with the news that New York families are staying in homeless shelters 30% longer than they used to, the city mayor took a rather large leap of illogic. Living in a shelter is “much more pleasurable” these days he’s quoted as saying in the article linked below.
Unfortunately, Mayor Bloomberg isn’t the only powerful, rich person who is out of touch with reality when it comes to homelessness. That misconception is shared by way too many.
Read the article below to hear more about Bloomberg’s example of politicians putting a spin on facts to further an agenda outside of reality.
“The Mayor’s assertion that homeless New Yorkers are staying in shelters longer because they are ‘much more pleasurable’ is shocking and offensive,” said Mary Brosnahan, executive director of the Coalition for the Homelessness, in an emailed statement to the Wall Street Journal.
“Mayor Bloomberg systematically closed every single path to affordable housing once available to homeless families with vulnerable children,” she said. “His failed policies are the major factor leading to the record shelter population this summer. Blaming homeless families and suggesting they are luxuriating in ‘pleasurable’ accommodations shows just how badly the mayor is out of touch.”
via Mike Bloomberg And His 11 Homes Think New York Homeless Shelters Are Too Damn Nice. Homeless Disagree – New York – News – Runnin’ Scared.
Kim over at Wistfulskimmie’s Book Reviews gave Painted Black a 5 star review today. I’m so excited because she had such nice things to say. It is so gratifying to have reviewers applaud the very elements I tried so hard to do right.
Thank, you, Kim. I will certainly let you know when the second Street Stories novel is ready to read.
This is the story of Jo Sullivan. She is a reporter, writing short stories about the forgotten homeless of Chicago. This is a mystery and Jo must get to the bottom of a missing teenage prostitute, a dodgy funeral service that specializes in freeze drying corpses for those that can afford it, and a possible link between the two. With a Youth Worker and one of the prostitutes closest friends for help, she tries to get to the bottom of the mystery whilst fighting her own demons at the same time.
I enjoyed this immensely, but it was also quite gritty at the same time and made me think of the fates of others, especially the ‘forgotten’ homeless. Whilst on the one hand highlighting the fate these teenagers have to face, it was also a good mystery at its heart. Jo and Chris are damaged in their own ways and must put aside their mistrust of each other to work together. It is a gripping story. A real page turner but also very sad. The characters were true to life and leapt out of the page at me, at times their pain was tangible. The ending was sad but right for the book. A great mystery that highlights the problems facing the homeless more or less every day. I shall certainly look out for more by this author.
via Wistfulskimmie’s Book Reviews: Painted Black by Debra Borys.
“A testimonial film given by Matthew, a young, homeless 24 year old on the streets of Coventry. He has been homeless for about 18 months and says he is a victim of circumstance. He feels strongly that there is not enough support if you are over 18, alone, not classed as a “vulnerable adult” and have no permanent address or ID” – http://www.thehiddenvoices.org