Stories of Homelessness

These books at the Library tell the personal stories of people who have experienced homelessness firsthand.

Related event:
Steve Lopez discusses his book The Soloist, Nov. 4, 2009

The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music
By Steve Lopez
This moving story of a remarkable bond between a journalist in search of a story and a homeless, classically trained musician, The Soloist was also made into a feature film starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr.

Nomads of a Desert City book jacket

Nomads of a Desert City: Personal Stories from Citizens of the Street
Photographs & interviews by Barbara Seyda
Seyda interviewed and photographed thirteen homeless men and women, young and old, in Tucson, Arizona. This book presents a portrait of life on the street and in homeless shelters in the words of those who live it.

Learning Joy from Dogs Without Collars: A Memoir
By Lauralee Summer
Free of self-pity and pretension and bursting with meaning, this memoir tells the story of a resilient girl who went from "homeless to Harvard."

In the Open: Diary of a Homeless Alcoholic
By Timothy E. Donohue
A first-hand account of one man's struggle with homelessness and alcoholism, this diary records a world full of physical degradation and despair that is not without unpredictable moments of striking beauty.

Breakfast at Sally's book jacket

Breakfast at Sally's: One Homeless Man's Inspirational Journey
By Richard LeMieux
This frank memoir tells the story of one man's resilience in the face of economic disaster. LeMieux chronicles his journey from enjoying lavish vacations and an opulent home to being penniless, estranged from his family, and living in his van.

Shelter: One Man's Journey from Homelessness to Hope
By Bobby Burns
Burns, a college graduate, recounts the time in his life when he slipped from middle class life into homelessness.

Travels with Lizbeth
By Lars Eighner
Eighner spent three years homeless and hitchhiking with his dog Lizbeth. This book tells the story of those years.

Grand Central Winter: Stories from the Street
By Lee Stringer
In the underground tunnels below Grand Central Terminal, Lee Stringer – homeless and drug-addicted over the course of eleven years – found a pencil to run through his crack pipe. One day, he used it to write. Soon, writing became a habit that won out over drugs and Stringer created this powerful urban memoir.

Fiction by Steve Lopez

In the Clear book jacket

In the Clear
By Steve Lopez
With his trademark passion, compassion, and biting humor, Steve Lopez takes readers into a town, a love affair, and a man about to be destroyed – or redeemed.

Sunday Macaroni Club
By Steve Lopez
In this novel, Lopez depicts a city where macaroni isn't necessarily macaroni, bottom-feeders can rise to the top, and has-beens don't always know they've been had – Philadelphia's own glorious carnival of greed, ambition, and self-preservation.

Third and Indiana: A Novel
By Steve Lopez
In the dark neighborhood known as the Badlands, a mother, Ofelia Santoro, rides her bicycle through the dark, decaying streets looking for her 14-year-old son, Gabriel. Set in a world where evil is so routine it becomes inevitable, Lopez's gritty novel brings home the violence that is scarring America's vast urban wastelands, and the humanity that might save them.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.