Moving Out, Moving Up: Families beyond shelter
By Ralph da Costa Nunez with Jesse Andrews Ellison
White Tiger Press (www.whitetigerpress.com); $10.95
Six success stories, each growing from a different series of “failures‚” and each showing an individual of purpose and strength moving toward a self-motivated goal to make a quality life for self and family, to give something back to community. This book is equally an affirmation of the work of dedicated service providers and an expose of the flaws “in the system.”
This is the hands-up 2007 choice for “One Book, One City,” along with its equally brief, poignant companion, Beyond the Shelter Wall: Homeless Families Speak Out!
When “given the basic tools they need to succeed,” these first person accounts show, “[l]ives can change for the better. Dreams can come true. And children can reap the promise of a good education, a permanent home and the opportunities they bring to their future.” Homelessness has become too much a way of life. It’s not only about “incomplete education, unexpected pregnancies, addiction, abuse, incarceration and/or economic downturns.” It’s also about the middle-class in the aftermath of Sept. 11, Hurricane Katrina, Enron.
When more of us than we like to consider are only three paychecks away from our own homelessness, it’s essential to address the issues and develop survival techniques. What better way than through the tales of those who’ve been there and done that.