For various reasons, just a short post today.
I recently finished Adam Shepard's excellent Scratch Beginnings. It's the story of a college graduate who decides to find out if the American Dream of making it from nothing is dead or not. He moves to Charleston, SC with $25 in his pocket, the clothes on his back, an empty backpack and a sleeping bag. He doesn't trade on his social or family connections nor his college degree. His goal is to have $2500 in the bank, a working vehicle and a place to live after one year.
Scratch Beginnings is the story of the homeless and the underprivileged. I loved it for that reason. When I work downtown at Catholic Charities, I've often wondered what my customers' lives are like. Where do they go and what do they do? Is their situation totally hopeless? This book helped me understand their lives a lot better. There are opportunities and escape routes, but it's not easy to stick to what you need to do to make it out.
If you've got a few hours, I'd definitely read it. It might put you in contact with a world you would otherwise never experience.