Archive for October, 2009

Norton’s Ghost: Episode 3

Chapters 3 and 4.

Norton’s Ghost: Episode 2

Chapter 2.

Norton’s Ghost: Episode 1

His world thrown into doubt with the death of his father, Kyle Dearmond takes to hitchhiking, where he finds meaning, friends, and a new direction despite the chaos of the wandering road.

Norton’s Ghost is a novel rooted heavily in homelessness and hitchhiking.

This is the (very short) introduction and chapter one.

Listen to the Book: Announcing the Norton’s Ghost Podcast!

I’m thrilled to finally be able to announce the podiobook version of the novel Norton’s Ghost. There are three episodes available now from the get-go to get people started. I plan to update with a new episode every Monday, starting Monday, November 9th (since you have three already, of course). You’ll find the files here on the site, via iTunes, and hopefully soon at

It felt great to do something else creative while helping to make the novel available to more people in more ways.

This is still very much a learning experience for me. I hope that people will stick with the podcast and give the story a chance.

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Thanks!

Now that’s service: Florida doctor takes health care to the disadvantaged

Dr. Joe Greer has made it his task to bring medical care to those who can’t afford it. He’s also trying to educate the next generation of physicians and remind them that medicine is about people–something that modern medicine has begun to slip on a little bit.

His life was changed forever during his internship, when a homeless, nameless patient Greer had been treating died alone. He searched for the man’s family in shelters and under Miami’s highways, to no avail. He returned to the area recently with CNN and recalled his amazement.

“I saw a world that I didn’t know existed,” he said, recalling his search. “I was shocked. This was my own back yard.”

Read more on CNN: Florida doctor takes health care to the disadvantaged

Tent cities take advantage of the internet

As the economic downturn has worsened, growing numbers of homeless people are camping in tent cities across the United States. But unlike the Hoovervilles of the Great Depression, people living in modern day tent cities can access to the web, at libraries, local internet cafes and through homeless service providers allowing tent cities residents around the world to connect, swap notes, and support one another online.

Read more: Tent Cities Connect Online

Housing: A right or good financial sense?

A new study out of Los Angeles today has found that housing a homeless person is cheaper than leaving them to fend for themselves on the streets. It’s an argument has been reinforced for years by cost-benefit analysis after cost-benefit analysis in cities across the country.

The emphasis on these types studies is incredibly frustrating. Why do cost studies trump historically significant declarations that proclaim housing to be a basic human right, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the National Housing Goal in the 1949 Housing Act?

You would think that having both good intentions and the ledgers on the same side would make the issue a forgone conclusion.

Forget Cost-Benefit Studies, Housing is a Human Right!

NYC shelters seeing record numbers

The statistics, released today by the advocacy group Coalition for the Homeless, find that over 39,000 homeless people — including 10,000 homeless families — check in to city shelters every evening.
In 2002, about 31,000 people were using city shelters — and those numbers have steadily increased each year, the group said.

Read more: NBC:Homeless Population in Shelters Hits Record High

97 Year Old Homeless Woman and Her Sons Finally Have A Home

A 97-year-old homeless woman who was living with her two sons in a battered 1973 Chevrolet Suburban in Venice has received a temporary home, compliments of a nonprofit Los Angeles housing group.

Photo credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Photo credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

The LA Times posted their story on the 16th (Woman, 97, has a front seat to homelessness). By the 19th, they had a temporary residence.

If this isn’t an example of things going right, I don’t know what is. It’s just a shame that it has to get national attention before anything changes.

Originally found via the End Homelessness blog: 97 Year Old Homeless Woman Receives Housing

Hillsborough County tent city plan falls through

This is perhaps one of the most difficult parts of solving the problem of homelessness. Everything takes money these days, but even if funds are available, actions still face opposition from parties protecting their own interests. Something has to give, but what?

It died, sadly, by a single vote Tuesday, that good plan for a tent city to help the homeless of Hillsborough County.

And in the end, you couldn’t really blame anyone.

Who was wrong here? Not the well-meaning people who wanted to make it happen. Not even the neighbors who said, “Not in my back yard” — even if they did say it really loudly.

Read More: Tent city plans die but hope shouldn’t