The Footpath Library for the Homeless

footpath library

How many steps from destitution do you think you are?

It’s four. Lose your job, lose your family, lose your friends and you’re on the streets.

My first novel The Damaged, is about a destructive relationship between a homeless woman and a writer. After living in the CBD of Sydney for 15 years, I saw and spoke to many homeless people, this is what made me write that book. I was, and am shocked by the way some people are forced to live. It is the most disturbing sight to see people like me walking down a street and not even notice another human being lying on the ground and begging for money.

But I, and you do it every day. I remember talking to one young man, who told me he had just kicked a drug habit; he couldn’t get work or afford a place to live. But he was writing poetry. I bought one of his books he put together at a library. It was full of angry poems, anger directed at the world and himself.

Libraries were a part-time home for him, they gave him shelter and things to read and do. As all libraries do, but there is one that’s dedicated to homeless people. It’s called The Footpath Library. I only came across them recently, but they have been running for 10 years. They are in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

As they say, “The Footpath Library aims to make books assessable to the homeless and disadvantaged members of our society, change our attitudes to these people and encourage literacy.” There are other groups who support homeless people, such as,

Homelessness Australia

The Salvation Army

Street Smart Australia 

Encouraging literacy is probably the best way there is to stop people from becoming homeless

Sorry, but I’m going to state the obvious, the more you read, the more you understand. The more you understand the better chance you have of not becoming homeless.

If President Barack Obama was here, he would say, ‘We should all be grateful, for the powerful message, that the Footpath Library, and other groups, send about the importance of helping the homeless move off the streets, and get their lives back.’

The next time I donate books, it will be to the Footpath Library. Why don’t you do the same?

Go to The Footpath Library to lear more.

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