Shelter: Homelessness in Our Community
Illustrated by Taryn Gee
Orca Book Publishers
Published October 12, 2021
About Shelter: Homelessness in Our Community
There are 150 million people experiencing homelessness worldwide, and that number is increasing every year. Homelessness is not a choice, yet it exists in almost every community. But why are people homeless? Who are they? What can you do? In SHELTER: HOMELESSNESS IN OUR COMMUNITY, readers will get answers to these complex questions. They’ll learn about the root causes of homelessness and its effects, and what people and organizations around the world are doing to address the problem.
It shares the personal stories of people who live on the street and the adults and kids who work with them. As a former homeless-shelter worker, author Lois Peterson encourages young people to approach the issue with knowledge and compassion. She dispels some of the myths about homelessness and makes the case for why everyone deserves a safe, permanent place to call home.
The author of SHELTER has been both a librarian (where she encountered homeless people regularly) and the executive director at a homeless shelter. So, she brings a lot of personal experience to the book. She also includes bits of stories about different people she’s met and their situations. This helps to illustrate some of the information and statistics presented about the homeless.
Since the author is Canadian, a lot of the information relates to how homelessness is viewed and handled there. She also includes statistics and information about homelessness in the United States. The book is full of facts and ideas for how to help. It discusses what kinds of interventions have been shown to work and how people can help in their own communities.
Possibly one of the coolest parts of the book is that over and over the author tells about kids who’ve been inspired by volunteer work to create their own charities or inventions to help homeless people receive care and services. I thought that was particularly inspiring. There are also some great lists, both for additional nonfiction resources and fictional stories highlighting the challenges of poverty and homelessness.
This book would make a great resource for a classroom, public or home library. It would also serve as a helpful resource guide for youth at religious institutions. I think it’s a great way to begin to get more educated about homelessness and learn ways to help in a local community.
Recommended for Ages 10 up.
The book includes short snippets of stories from people who are or have been homeless, including Indigenous and Black interviewees.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Some references to churches and other spiritual centers offering support or services for homeless people.
Brief references to risks associated with homelessness, such as being assaulted or robbed.
Reference to some homeless people struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of SHELTER: HOMELESSNESS IN OUR COMMUNITY in exchange for my honest review.