Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope

Kevin Ryan, Author, Tina Kelley, Author
Kevin Ryan and Tina Kelley. Wiley, $16.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-118-23047-3
Reviewed on: 06/18/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
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With narrative precision and journalistic detail, the heartbreaking trajectory from abandonment and abuse to teen homelessness is laid bare in this book by Covenant House president Ryan and staff member Kelley, a former New York Times reporter. Telling the story of six young people who came to a Covenant House, the nationwide network of faith-based homes for homeless and runaway youth, Ryan and Kelley uncover their dire circumstances as well as efforts by Covenant House staff, and the kids themselves, to get off the streets. In addition, the authors highlight such issues as human trafficking, the shortcomings of the foster care system, and the financial cost of not caring for homeless youth, as well as providing suggestions and resources for mentoring, helping teen parents, and supporting LGBTQ youth. The compassionately told stories of survival are almost miraculous: a young man who had been abandoned and abused by his adoptive parents proudly returns to Covenant House to cook and serve a gourmet meal; another, bearing physical scars, walks the halls as an at-risk coordinator for a high school; and in the epilogue, we learn that a young woman who had survived drug addiction and prostitution has been accepted to college to study juvenile justice. Agent: Andrew Blauner, Blauner Books Literary Agency. (Oct.)
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