People Like Us: Facts and Stories About the Homeless
By Virginia Lee Siewert
Homelessness in America is an epidemic of epic proportions. As many as 3.5 million are homeless in any given year, 1 million of which are children. While homelessness has always been an issue, it increased tenfold during the housing and credit crisis of 2006-2009. With foreclosures rampant and credit debts over the top, more and more families were forced out of their homes and into the streets, many still struggling to get a leg up on their homeless situation.
Our own community has struggled with homelessness for decades and with the closure of a crucial shelter in Ukiah during the summer of 2014, Fort Bragg has seen an influx of needy citizens seeking hot meals, warm beds and shelter from the elements. Public facilities and caring volunteers are struggling to meet the demands of the burgeoning homeless community.
Meet Virginia Siewert, champion of the homeless and author of People Like Us: Facts and Stories About the Homeless. Virginia has worked closely with the homeless and at risk for over a decade. Serving on many committees and on the board of directors for one of Fort Bragg’s shelters, she has witnessed firsthand the plight of the homeless. Heartened by the life stories and the perseverance of the homeless she’d met, Virginia started writing stories to share. Encouraged by the positive reception of her stories about the homeless in a local writing class, she decided to put all the stories together in one volume, People Like Us: Facts and Stories About the Homeless.
Join Virginia for a reading and discussion of People Like Us: Facts and Stories About the Homeless at Fort Bragg Library, October 22, 2014 @ 7 pm. Come prepared to have your eyes and hearts opened to a “community” of individuals you may not have known existed in your own town.