Award winning author Tracy Kidder recently published Rough Sleepers, detailing the meaningful work of Jim O’Connell MD, who after graduating from Harvard Medical School and finishing a residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, decided to use his medical expertise to serve Boston’s unhoused population. Dr. O’Connell went on to found Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP), and centered his efforts on medical practices that put patients first and offer empathy and a “system of friends” to Boston’s most vulnerable citizens. Kidder provides a closeup look at what “rough sleepers” experience living on the streets and raises the question of how this can happen in one of the wealthiest cities in the country with wonderful hospitals and community health centers. Beckie Tachick, Manager of the BHCHP Street Team, was the speaker at the LAH Spring Event in May.
Pulitzer Prize winning Sociology Professor Matthew Desmond published a new book, Poverty, by America, that explores the extent of poverty in the United States despite being the richest country on earth. He argues that it is not enough for citizens and the government to address poverty but rather a movement must be undertaken to “abolish poverty.” This follows his prior book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, which profiles several families struggling to keep a roof overhead.
The Eviction Lab at Princeton University, created by Professor Desmond, monitors and tracks actual evictions in cities across the country.