Homeless at Harvard: Finding Faith and Friendship on the Streets of Harvard Square
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Number of Pages: 176
Publication Date: 2013
|Dimensions: 1.10 X 6.10 X 8.10 (inches)|
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Harvard Square is at the center of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is the business district around Harvard University. Its a place of history, culture, and some of the most momentous events of the nation. But its also a gathering place for some of the citys homeless.
What is life like for the homeless in Harvard Square? Do they have anything to tell people about life? And God?
Thats what Harvard student John Frame discovered and shares in Homeless at Harvard. While taking his final course at Harvard, John Frame stepped outside the walls of academia and onto the streets, pursuing a different kind of education with his homeless friends.
What he foundin the way of community and how people understand themselves---may surprise you.
In this unique book, each of these urban pioneers shares his own story, providing insider perspectives of life as homeless people see it. This heartwarming page-turner shows how John learned with, from, and about his homeless friendswho together tell an unforgettable storyhelping readers better understand problems outside themselves and that theyre more similar to those on the streets than they may have believed.
John Frame holds masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School, Anderson University, and Eastern Michigan University. He has worked in local government and has taught courses at several colleges. He enjoys spending time with his wife, whom he met at a souvenir shop in Istanbul, Turkey.
Debbie from ChristFocusHarrison, ARAge: 35-44Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5Outside looking in even while living on the streetJuly 31, 2013Debbie from ChristFocusHarrison, ARAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3"Homeless at Harvard" is a memoir about a young man who lived among the homeless community at Harvard Square to better understand homelessness. He was taking a summer course at Harvard and had access to campus facilities, but he spent his free time on the streets and he slept on the streets. Much of the book was about his experiences on the street and about his childhood, but he also shared the stories of some of his homeless friends and included some of their thoughts "in their own words."
The writing was somewhat disjointed, though usually it wasn't hard to follow. The author would start the chapter talking about an experience he had while on the street--like learning to beg for money--and then he'd jump to a story from his past or to some thoughts he had about how he wasn't really homeless even though he was sleeping on the streets. Then he'd finish the original story. He also sometimes contradicted himself or the homeless people would--like someone said the homeless aren't all addicts or mentally ill, yet a few chapters later someone said they were.
I don't feel like I gained insight into why people are homeless, but I did learn some things about homeless people. The homeless in Harvard Square only lacked for homes--not food, not medical care, not alcohol or drugs, not lottery tickets, not cell phones or grills or digital cameras. A few of those begging money even had homes! Many were addicts. Even those who didn't think they were mentally ill didn't have an accurate grasp of reality, though sometimes that appeared to be a product of their upbringing. They had a very works-oriented, confused view of God, and even the author didn't view God as sovereign (i.e. in control of everything).
The author's conclusion was that spending time with the homeless and treating them like people will do more good than giving them your pocket change. The book didn't really show that to be true, but it is clear that giving them money doesn't help. So spending time is worth a try.
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher through Booksneeze.com.
Dad of DivasLansing, MIAge: 35-44Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5A Transforming Book!July 21, 2013Dad of DivasLansing, MIAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This was a powerful ethnographic study on what it means to be homeless in a city and community that is filled by intellectual pursuit. The book was a great read and so insightful. The author did a great job at becoming a part of the culture and really being able to get to know the people and what they have to share about life, and about spirituality. You learn so much about the homeless people, from their daily routines to tricks that they use to survive and so much more. I have always been interested in ethnographic inquiry and the author has done a great job in this, staying true to form and transporting the reader into the culture which is the true mark of a great ethnographer (in my perspective)! You will be amazed and changed by what you learn here!