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  • Writer's pictureAnkush Vengurlekar

5 Books Exposing the Rising Homelessness Crisis and Inspiring Action

Are you aware that homelessness is on the rise? Shocking, right? We're not just talking about a slight uptick; we're talking about a real, substantial increase. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of people without a roof over their heads has increased every year since 2016. Over half a million people in the U.S. are homeless on any given night.

But hey, numbers are one thing. The stories of the people behind these stats? That's where the real understanding comes from. So, let's dive into five books that can help us wrap our heads around this escalating crisis, shall we?

1. "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City" by Matthew Desmond

Imagine being evicted from your home. Now imagine the domino effect that follows. Scary, right? Desmond's book offers a glimpse into the lives of eight families who go through this, reminding us that "Without stable shelter, everything else falls apart."

2. "Down and Out in Paris and London" by George Orwell

This one's an oldie but a goodie. Orwell throws us into the grimy underbelly of Paris and London, showing us how even in the world's richest cities, people still fall through the cracks. He says, "It is a feeling of relief, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at last genuinely down and out." Talk about food for thought!

3. "Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America" by Jonathan Kozol

This one's a real heart-tugger. Kozol brings homeless families into sharp focus. His conclusion? "Homelessness is a part of our American system." That's a real eye-opener, isn't it?

4. "The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music" by Steve Lopez

Imagine being a trained musician, then ending up homeless and struggling with mental health. Sounds like a movie script, right? Well, this is a true story that Lopez shares. It forces us to ask, "Who among us is not more than one person, and how difficult it is to live with the people we are."

5. "Breakfast at Sally's: One Homeless Man's Inspirational Journey" by Richard LeMieux

From riches to rags - that's LeMieux's story. His insight, "Most people don’t choose homelessness; it’s a place you end up," is a reminder that homelessness can happen to anyone, anywhere. Pretty powerful stuff, right?

These books put faces and names to the homeless crisis, and they certainly tug at our heartstrings. But hey, don't stop at just reading. There's something else you can do.

At we are supporting homeless families in Austin, Texas. Why not give them a helping hand? Every little bit counts. Remember, we're all in this together, and together, we can help change the narrative around homelessness. So, are you in?


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