Originally posted by jimhines at Steven Harper Piziks on Homelessness
Steven Harper Piziks (Twitter, LJ, Facebook) is one of the first Michigan authors I remember meeting back when I started to take this writing thing more seriously. His most recent books are The Doomsday Vault [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] and The Impossible Cube [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy]. Steven’s oldest son recently became homeless. I can’t imagine what he and his family are going through right now. He talks here about his experiences, about how his son Sasha opened his eyes to the problem of homelessness, and the things Steven is doing to try to raise money and awareness for people like his son.
I’ve mentioned elsewhere (http://spiziks.livejournal.com/370953.
Last winter he spent his days on the street and his nights in a series of church basements. I worried about him constantly. He got robbed at knife point once. Another time he got caught outside when the church closed its doors for the night and he had to spend a winter night outdoors. It isn’t something I ever envisioned for the little boy I adopted seven years ago from Ukraine.
After several months, Sasha managed to get a bed at the Delonis Shelter in downtown Ann Arbor. He’s working on his GED and trying to find a job. It isn’t easy, however, for a 19-year-old to find work without a high school diploma.
I do see him from time to time. It’s a surreal version of a dad visiting his son at college. I drive down to Ann Arbor, pick him up at a warped version of a dormitory, and take him to lunch somewhere. We talk, I ask him if he needs anything like shoes or a trip to the laundromat, I slip him $20, give him a hug, and drop him off at the dorm again. Except it isn’t a dorm, and he isn’t heading back inside to finish a paper for Monday class.
( Keep Reading )
Looking for a place to donate for Austin? Check out House the Homeless, Inc. They do awesome work on a small budget, and practically every dime they take in goes right back out to the homeless. Their founder, Richard R. Troxell, spent time homeless after he returned from Vietnam, so he knows the whole nine yards. His book about the state of homelessness in the USA is here.