New Amazon Review

Posted: May 7, 2015 in Prose
4.0 out of 5 stars A sympathetic ear and human compassion goes a long why when you gotta find a home, May 6, 2015
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Dennis Cardiff is a man of a certain age who is, perhaps going though some sort of midlife crisis. He goes to work everyday and encounters the homeless on the streets of Ottawa, Canada. He stops to talk to them, provides them with food and bus passes, and begins to hear their stories. Through his encounters, he becomes aware and has a purpose to document the stories many homeless persons live through. “Gotta find a home” is a book written out of sincerity and compassion for the people he considers his friends.

The one who Mr. Cardiff encounters the most is Joy, a middle-age alcoholic who supplements her governmental money by panhandling. Joy struggles to find a permanent home, and she goes from place to place just to lay her head. She also has a myriad of health concerns brought on by her lifestyle and homelessness. Throughout their conversations Joy reveals she has five sons, used to be married, and owned her home, until her crack addiction took over. Unfortunately many of the people Mr. Cardiff meets share similar stories.

The cast of characters Mr. Cardiff encounters are numerous. There’s Little Jake, a man with full-blown AIDS who has frequent run-ins with the law. There’s Shakes, a man everyone worries is on his last leg. Most notable is Nick, a man who makes sandwiches for the homeless and is struggling himself. Most of the people Mr. Cardiff meets have histories of abuse, addiction, and mental illness. Many have places to live, but are still drawn to streets as they struggle with integrating after long-term homelessness.

“Gotta find a home” shows how humanity means all the difference when it comes to getting the homeless to open up about their struggles. Mr. Cardiff does not condescend or shame, nor does he expect nothing in return for his help. He is an ordinary man who wants to help a population that many ignore or are apathetic to.

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