* 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."
"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