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Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope Paperback – August 24, 2012


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Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope + Brooks/Cole Empowerment Series: Ethical Decisions for Social Work Practice (Ethics & Legal Issues) + Essential Interviewing: A Programmed Approach to Effective Communication (HSE 123 Interviewing Techniques)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118230477
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118230473
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

* With narrative precision and journalistic detail, the heartbreaking trajectory from abandonment and abuse to teen homelessness is laid bare in this book by Covenant House president Ryan and staff member Kelley, a former New York Times reporter. Telling the story of six young people who came to a Covenant House, the nationwide network of faith-based homes for homeless and runaway youth, Ryan and Kelley uncover their dire circumstances as well as efforts by Covenant House staff, and the kids themselves, to get off the streets. In addition, the authors highlight such issues as human trafficking, the shortcomings of the foster care system, and the financial cost of not caring for homeless youth, as well as providing suggestions and resources for mentoring, helping teen parents, and supporting LGBTQ youth. The compassionately told stories of survival are almost miraculous: a young man who had been abandoned and abused by his adoptive parents proudly returns to Covenant House to cook and serve a gourmet meal; another, bearing physical scars, walks the halls as an at-risk coordinator for a high school; and in the epilogue, we learn that a young woman who had survived drug addiction and prostitution has been accepted to college to study juvenile justice. (Publishers Weekly, October 2012)

From the Back Cover

"Almost Home is that rare and special book that inspires us to make a difference."
—Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey

Almost Home tells the remarkable true stories of six young people as they struggle to find home, stopping along the way at Covenant House, the largest charity serving homeless, trafficked, and runaway youth in the Americas. This book offers a glimpse into the lives of the 1.6 million young people in North America who run away or are kicked out of their homes each year, grappling with issues such as family violence, prostitution, teen parenthood, rejection based on sexual orientation, and aging out of foster care without a family. Full of hope, compassion, and practical suggestions on how to fight youth homelessness, Almost Home shows us how to help young people attain the bright futures they deserve.

"With narrative precision and journalistic detail, the heartbreaking trajectory from abandonment and abuse to teen homelessness is laid bare in this book. . . . The compassionately told stories of survival are almost miraculous."
—Publishers Weekly

"The trick of engaging readers on public policy matters is to tell human stories. Suddenly, the person we dismiss, fear, or even judge is alive before us and utterly familiar, and we learn, as we do in this powerful and inspirational book, the true meaning of courage, grace, and hope."
—Steve Lopez, New York Times bestselling author of The Soloist

"The moving stories here offer a sense of promise, a belief that with guidance, empathy, and some semblance of home even the most wounded teens can thrive."
—Alex Kotlowitz, bestselling author of There Are No Children Here

"Almost Home accomplishes something very rare in a book about the homeless—it is both descriptive and prescriptive. A vital read for anyone who cares about the future of our society."
—Dale Maharidge, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of And Their Children After Them


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Customer Reviews

Wonderful read..... very inspiring, kids in this book have a lot to be proud of.
sarah mueller
A very revealing book about Covenant House which is the only shelter for homeless teens in NYC and other cities throughout the world.
Audrey44
This book acts as an essential part in bringing this issue to light to the public.
Darren

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Murray on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Full disclosure: I used to work for Faith Community in New Orleans which is the program mentioned in the book by Kevin Ryan so I am biased. Biased in the best possible way. Working for Covenant House was never a job it was a mission and a privilege and I don't think many can say that about their jobs.
Almost Home by Kevin Ryan will change the way you view homeless children in this country. It will take you inside what really happens in the lives of these forgotten and sometimes invisible children. Almost Home gives them a voice. Not only a voice but it shows how Covenant House through unconditional love and their covenant can reach any child if given the chance (and) not just reach them but give these children hope. HOPE.
When I worked for this agency I was young and single and now I am married and the mother of two young boys. My perspective has changed. So when I read Almost Home it touched me differently. I was now seeing Covenant House and these children's lives through the perspective "what if it were my child". I couldn't help being profoundly affected by their stories and the stories of the everyday heroes who work quietly to reach, love and transform these children by giving them HOPE and letting them know they matter, they are valuable and no matter what happens to them they are not defined by their circumstances.
What if it were your child? I pray if it were my child they would find their way to Covenant House where they would receive love, shelter, safety and HOPE.
Angels unaware I call it.
I imagine this book was a labor of love. It is not easy to see children suffer such hardships let alone write about them without becoming bitter. Yet, you do not feel that when reading Almost Home.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Joan Smyth Dengler on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Full disclosure - I work at the Cov and have for many years. That said, with the publication of Almost Home, it's even more thrilling to be part of this amazing mission. Kevin Ryan and Tina Kelley tell the stories of the incredibly complex lives of homeless kids - and the interventions that helped them turn their lives around. The book is both inspirational and useful at the same time. Buy this book and read it - you'll be educated and empowered to help homeless kids as they move toward hope.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kate Lombardi on September 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's rare that you find a book that hones in on individual lives while still giving you the bigger sociological picture. Almost Home pulls it off, and it's a great read to boot. The stories of these teens overcoming homelessness are both wrenching and inspiring. The scope of the problem is daunting. Ryan and Kelley not only offer hope but also practical suggestions on how any reader can help. High recommend on this important book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Barrett VINE VOICE on November 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
As I finished reading Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope, hurricane Sandy has devastated the east coast right in the areas that Covenant House has shelters for the homeless teen population. I keep getting updates on what an extra hardship this has caused and what they need immediately to keep the doors open. The disaster has put an emphasis on what happens to kids who live on our streets. This book puts a face on children who have been abused, abandoned and preyed upon. These kids, our kids, have slipped through the cracks and are floundering just out of sight.

Almost Home sheds a light on the lives of 6 young people who let us look at what landed them alone on the streets of the United States and Canada, and how the volunteers and staff at Covenant House give them a safe place to sort through the challenges they face to attaining a successful future. Kevin Ryan and Tina Kelley have written a story balancing profound sadness with the sprinkling of hope. They also end their book with ideas on how you can make a difference in a child's life, right where you are. 5 stars for a well told, informative and enlightening account. This is a great gift for teachers, social workers, those in ministry, and families that have a heart for helping children.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Audrey44 on February 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very revealing book about Covenant House which is the only shelter for homeless teens in NYC and other cities throughout the world. In my opinion, this non-profit organization does a heroic job of rescuing teens who have lived through some of the most tragic circumstances imaginable in their short lives. The staff at Covenant House never gives up on them even when they cannot believe in their own self worth. I have long been a donor to CH and now have a deeper understanding of the overwhelming problems their staff faces in trying to rescue the "throw-away" kids whom no one else cares about.

After reading this book, you will come away with a deeper sense of compassion and hopefully a desire to help these kids. The book also gives some very practical suggestions that anyone with even a minimum of time can contribute.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Wesley Boyd, MD, PhD on September 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ryan and Kelley have pulled off an impressive feat . . . They've written an engaging book, with compelling narratives of individuals and an important message about how to take action on behalf of the homeless. I highly recommend this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gwendolyn on August 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is so full of information about the homeless and the tireless workers at Covenant Houses around the states. My eyes have been opened to much I never knew.
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