Saturday, September 28, 2013

Homeless at Harvard By: John Christopher Frame

After reading this book, I was left with my thoughts about homelessness and what I had originally thought and how that thought had changed. Homeless at Harvard is a work of nonfiction based on perspective, notes, and recollection of events while John lived on the streets with the homeless while he attended Harvard. While on the streets, he met Neal, Dane, George, and Chubby John who shared their stories with him and are presented here. One thing John does realize is that there are good and bad in every walk of life. John wanted to apply his interest in homelessness to his studies in his classes at Harvard. He met George and he showed him the ropes and introduced him to other homeless people. How does the path to homelessness begin? Sometimes it can start with children growing up in dysfunctional families; sometimes it is the decisions of the people on the streets, addicted to drugs and alcohol, that lands them on the streets and they’re stuck there; or it could be mental illness. Once they are living on the streets, it’s like the street won’t let them go. One observation that John makes is that he now views homeless people as victims of the unfortunate actions of others. Sometimes it isn’t their fault they are on the streets. Sometimes they just need a hand to get to a better place. One thing John said that stuck with me was that if there was a stray dog outside, somebody would take it in. But if it’s a person, they won’t do anything about it. They judge them by other homeless people they’ve met or seen. Thank you, John, for making their voices heard. I received this e-book from Net Galley in exchange for reading and reviewing it.

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