Monday, January 10, 2011

Homelessness: "Breakfast at Sally's"

I want to recommend “Breakfast at Sally’s by Richard LeMieux (Skyhorse Publishing), the autobiographical story of a wealthy businessman who lost everything and ended up on the streets. The book chronicles his 18 months living hand to mouth. In some ways, it is an American take on George Orwell’s “Down and Out in Paris and London.” “Sally’s” is the nickname that the homeless in his city give the Salvation Army, which provides a daily meal. Here is a book review from the Christian Science Monitor.

 It is easy for us and our students to forget the desperately poor or to find ways to blame them for their circumstances.  This book helps us to understand that they are people much like us; maybe only a few paychecks and a bank account really separate us. If we as lawyers are to serve the poor, we need to move beyond scorn, paternalism, and pity, and understand them as fellow human beings.

 The book is an easy, engaging read. For schools and communities with a "One Book” program, it would be a good choice.


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