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Sacred Shelter By Susan Greenfield

Sacred Shelter

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Sacred Shelter Summary

Sacred Shelter: Thirteen Journeys of Homelessness and Healing by Susan Greenfield

Named a Gift Book for the Discerning New Yorker by The New York Times
In a metropolis like New York, homelessness can blend into the urban landscape. For editor Susan Greenfield, however, New York is the place where a community of resilient, remarkable individuals are yearning for a voice. Sacred Shelter follows the lives of thirteen formerly homeless people, all of whom have graduated from the life skills empowerment program, an interfaith life skills program for homeless and formerly homeless individuals in New York. Through frank, honest interviews, these individuals share traumas from their youth, their experience with homelessness, and the healing they have discovered through community and faith.
Edna Humphrey talks about losing her grandparents, father, and sister to illness, accident, and abuse. Lisa Sperber discusses her bipolar disorder and her whiteness. Dennis Barton speaks about his unconventional path to becoming a first-generation college student and his journey to reconnect with his family. The memoirists share stories about youth, family, jobs, and love. They describe their experiences with racism, mental illness, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Each of the thirteen storytellers honestly expresses his or her brokenheartedness and how finding community and faith gave them hope to carry on.
Interspersed among these life stories are reflections from program directors, clerics, mentors, and volunteers who have worked with and in the life skills empowerment program. In his reflection, George Horton shares his deep gratitude for and solidarity with the 500-plus individuals he has come to know since he co-founded the program in 1989. While religion can be divisive, Horton firmly believes that all faiths urge us to "welcome the stranger" and, as Pope Francis asks, "accompany" them through the struggles of life. Through solidarity and suffering, many formerly homeless individuals have found renewed faith in God and community. Beyond trauma and strife, Dorothy Day's suggestion that "All is grace" is personified in these thirteen stories. Jeremy Kalmanofsky, rabbi at Ansche Chesed Synagogue, says the program points toward a social fabric of encounter and recognition between strangers, who overcome vast differences to face one another, which in Hebrew is called Panim el Panim.
While Sacred Shelter does not tackle the socioeconomic conditions and inequities that cause homelessness, it provides a voice for a demographic group that continues to suffer from systemic injustice and marginalization. In powerful, narrative form, it expresses the resilience of individuals who have experienced homelessness and the hope and community they have found. By listening to their stories, we are urged to confront our own woundedness and uncover our desire for human connection, a sacred shelter on the other side of suffering.

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Sacred Shelter Reviews

It is rare that one book provides a gripping, honest, unapologetic look at the lives and perspectives of individuals experiencing homelessness. Sacred Shelter does just that demanding a reader's immediate attention. After bearing witness to the truths captured in this book I was moved to deepen my intention to fight for affordable housing across the nation. -- Afua Atta-Mensah, Esq., Executive Director, Community Voices Heard
Homelessness is not hopelessness-at least for the 13 individuals whose stories are told in Sacred Shelter. Personal empowerment; supportive community; God's gracious presence are highlighted as key to these success stories of transformation and growth. The editor sensitively and capably allows these individuals' own reality and narrative to emerge through their stories. -- Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York
A powerful look beyond statistics and policy proposals, into the stories of people who have experienced homelessness, in their own words. These painful, honest, and ultimately hopeful stories--paired with reflections from religious leaders--inspire the reader to greater empathy and commitment. -- Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Executive Director, T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
Both the Torah and the New Testament instruct, 'love your neighbor as yourself.' This book's stories of suffering and redemption show how real people live that commandment. Susan Greenfield has compiled stories and reflections that inspire, uplift and challenge. Sacred Shelter shares lessons about the power of love and perseverance, and about how, when we extend respect, kindness and hope to people our society rejects and scorns, we take huge steps closer to a more just and love-filled world for everyone. -- Brian Purnell, Geoffrey Canada Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History, Bowdoin College

About Susan Greenfield

Susan Celia Greenfield is a Professor of English at Fordham University; author of Mothering Daughters: Novels and the Politics of Family Romance, Frances Burney to Jane Austen; and co-editor of Inventing Maternity: Politics, Science, and Literature, 1650-1865.

Table of Contents

Editor's Note ix
Background xi
Glossary and Names of Replicate Programs Represented in Sacred Shelter xiii
Introduction: Susan Celia Greenfield 1
Life Story: Nelson Prime 29
Life Story: James Arthur Addison (grad. 1993) 44
Reflection: Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky 61
Life Story: Black (Pseudonym) (grad. late 1990s) 65
Reflection: Stephanie Reid 77
Life Story: Dennis Barton (grad. 2002) 79
Reflection: Dawn Ravella, DMin 104
Life Story: Michelle Riddle (grad. 2003) 107
Reflection: Hope 127
Life Story: Edna Humphrey (grad. 2005) 130
Reflection: Ira Ben Wiseman 140
Life Story: Deborah Canty (grad. 2005) 142
Reflection: Jane Griffin 163
Life Story: Lisa Sperber (grad. 2007) 165
Reflection: Reverend Alistair Drummond 178
Life Story: Rodney Allen (grad. 2009) 181
Life Story: Akira (grad. 2009) 200
Reflection: Doug Mastin 222
Life Story: Sophia Worrell (grad. 2010) 224
Reflection: Terry Michaud 241
Life Story: Cindy (Pseudonym) (grad. 2011) 244
Reflection: Reverend Michelle Nickens 264
Life Story: Heidi Nissen (grad. 2013) 268
Making a Difference: Marc Greenberg 287
Crossing Boundaries and Listening for Conversion: George B. Horton 295
Acknowledgments 305
Notes 309

Additional information

Sacred Shelter: Thirteen Journeys of Homelessness and Healing by Susan Greenfield
Susan Greenfield
Used - Very Good
Fordham University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.