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Community Conversation: Youth Homelessness

How is our community addressing the issue of youth homelessness? What can I do to help?

Answer these questions and become part of the solution. Join us for a follow-up conversation to the forum Living on the Edge: Youth Homelessness in Columbia.

On Sunday, November 17th Richland Library kicked off National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week with a panel discussion and community forum about the often-overlooked population of homeless youth. We had an audience full of engaged citizens who are passionate about making our community a better, safer place for these youth who are falling through the cracks -- and a lively, informative discussion.

Now it's time to continue the conversation and making progress.

Join us on Sunday, March 23rd at 3 p.m. in the Bostick Auditorium at Richland Library Main for an update about youth homelessness in our community, and to discuss ways each of us can contribute and make a difference.


Anonymity by Janna McMahan
Amazon Says: She's not just a random homeless girl. Lorelei is street smart, elusive and manipulative. She's a survivor, always on the move. Always one step ahead of the danger in h more...
Amazon Says: She's not just a random homeless girl. Lorelei is street smart, elusive and manipulative. She's a survivor, always on the move. Always one step ahead of the danger in her past. Emily's a hard-partying bartender in downtown Austin with problems of her own. When she meets a handsome reporter looking for a photographer, Emily volunteers her camera skills. As she follows him into the sordid world of gutter punks, Emily finds an unexpected friendship that will redefine her life. But Emily realizes too late that each of her attempts to help only puts her new friend in ever increasing peril. Can she unravel the mystery of Lorelei's past and find a way to protect her? Or would the girl be better off unknown and on her own? Anonymity is a gritty, harrowing account of young people who live life on the edge when all they really want is a safe place to call home.   less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Just two hours ago, I had been heating up some lentil soup at my mom’s in Brooklyn, thinking I’d eat it and maybe read some Edith Wharton before bed. Now here I was at a r more...
Amazon Says: Just two hours ago, I had been heating up some lentil soup at my mom’s in Brooklyn, thinking I’d eat it and maybe read some Edith Wharton before bed. Now here I was at a runaway shelter, staring at a nun’s mustache and wondering where I was going to spend the rest of my adolescence. At fifteen, sick of her mom’s spineless reactions to abusive men–and afraid of her stepfather’s unpredictable behavior–Janice Erlbaum walked out of her family’s apartment and never returned. What followed that fateful decision is the heart of this amazing, fascinating, and disturbing memoir. From her first frightening night at a shelter, trying to sleep in a large room filled with yelling girls, Janice knew she was in over her head. She was beaten up, shaken down, and nearly stabbed by a pregnant girl. But it was still better than living at home. Just like that, she was halfway homeless, always one step away from being sent “upstate to Lockdown.” As Janice slipped further into street life, she nevertheless continued to attend high school, harbor crushes, even play the lead in the spring production of Guys and Dolls. She also roamed the streets, clubs, bars, and parks of New York City with her two best girlfriends, on the prowl for hard drugs and boys on skateboards. Together they scored coke at Danceteria, smoked angel dust in East Village squats, commiserated over their crazy mothers, and slept with one another’s boyfriends on a regular basis. Janice Erlbaum paints a wry, mesmerizing portrait of being underprivileged, underage, and underdressed in the 1980s, bouncing from shelters to group homes, from tenement squats to legendary nightclubs. A moving and tremendously entertaining ride through the seediest parts of New York City, Girlbomb provides an unflinching look at street life, survival sex, female friendships, and first loves. less...
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Homeless by B. Wolf
Amazon Says: A first-person narrative and full-color photographs tell the story of young, hope-filled Mikey and his family and their stay in an emergency shelter and at New York City's H more...
Amazon Says: A first-person narrative and full-color photographs tell the story of young, hope-filled Mikey and his family and their stay in an emergency shelter and at New York City's Henry Street Settlement Urban Family Center. By the author-photographer of Beneath the Stone. less...
Amazon

Theories of Relativity by Barbara Haworth-Attard
Amazon Says: My fingers search the cardboard container, but I’ve finished the fries. I squirt ketchup on my fingers and lick it off. I’m never full. I think it was one of the reasons I more...
Amazon Says: My fingers search the cardboard container, but I’ve finished the fries. I squirt ketchup on my fingers and lick it off. I’m never full. I think it was one of the reasons I had to leave, or, rather, my mother kicked me out. Jenna’s a runaway, but I’m a throwaway. Tossed out. Like garbage. Keep your wits about you. Check your back. Do what it takes to survive on the streets. Dylan is living on the streets not through any choice of his own, unlike some of the teenagers he meets in the same situation. He’s been cut loose by his unstable mother, and lost most contact with his two younger brothers. He has nothing but his backpack stuffed with a few precious belongings and the homeless kids he meets. At least he has his theories. No one can take those away from him. Like how every fourth person throws him spare change; how no one does anything for anyone without a price; and how he just might be able to find a place in this complicated world. Disturbing, gritty, painful, hopeful—this is a story of a sixteen-year-old determined to survive against all odds. less...
Amazon
Boulevard: A Novel by Bill Guttentag
Amazon Says: A teenaged runaway fights for survival on “the boulevard of broken dreams” in this searing debut novel based on a true story. It’s always sunny in California until you w more...
Amazon Says: A teenaged runaway fights for survival on “the boulevard of broken dreams” in this searing debut novel based on a true story. It’s always sunny in California until you walk on the wrong side of Sunset Boulevard. And yet the bright lights still call to thousands, and every day new arrivals fill the ranks of Hollywood’s underworld of teenage runaways and hopeful stars turned hookers and strippers. Their stories are too wretched and too sad for society’s attention, but when a high-profile lawyer is murdered at the Chateau Marmont, lackluster detective Jimmy McCann takes to the streets and finds himself enmeshed in this complex web of prostitution and drugs, learning that the killer, a young girl named Casey, is a victim in her own right. Delving into Casey’s troubled community of homeless runaways, characterized by abuse, rape, death and disease, but also by friendship, loyalty and love, Bill Guttentag has crafted a stunning literary crime novel—based on real-life incidents—that will resound with readers everywhere. less...
Amazon

Shelter by Beth Cooley
Amazon Says: After her dad died, Lucy never imagined that things could get worse. But they did. She and her mom and little brother lost their new home. Her friends faded away. And the upp more...
Amazon Says: After her dad died, Lucy never imagined that things could get worse. But they did. She and her mom and little brother lost their new home. Her friends faded away. And the upper middle class life she'd always had slipped fast through her fingertips. Lucy believes that her family will get back on their feet again. Her mom will find a job, her brother will sleep without nightmares, and she will make new friends and laugh again. Because it's too scary to believe anything else. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Drawing on the personal stories of several women, an award-winning journalist reveals the human side of welfare, capturing the daily lives, struggle, and courage of such wom more...
Amazon Says: Drawing on the personal stories of several women, an award-winning journalist reveals the human side of welfare, capturing the daily lives, struggle, and courage of such women as grandmother Odessa Williams and welfare mother and activist Cheri Honkala. 25,000 first printing. Tour. less...
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