Monday, June 24, 2013

A Sheltered Life by Jeremy Reynalds

A Sheltered Life: Take it to the Streets  by Jeremy Reynalds, West Bow Press, 2013, ISBN 9781449790202

This was an interesting book that I was asked to review. While the review that I wrote doesn't mention it, please note that the book itself has strong Christian content. You can allow that to turn you off from the book's message of the homeless need our help or you can appreciate or ignore the Christ centeredness of this book, whichever your leanings on the topic.


We hear much about the homeless these days, but this book brings is home and makes it personal. The author, Jeremy Reynalds, helped found and directs Albuquerque, NM largest homeless shelter. Not only do they have a homeless shelter, they have a food ministry where they take food to the homeless where they are, on the streets. They also have different programs where the people can stay an extended time while they get their lives in order again.

Many of the homeless aren’t that way due to drug and alcohol addiction although many do slip into that along the way, but also by way of job losses that send them to other parts of the country where they hear the promise of jobs. For many their car breaking completely down or running out of gas and money at the same time stranded many in his town. One of the things that is different about this ministry than in many others, is that if you call them, they will come and pick you up.

This book brought home to me the many needs of the people on the streets. Business owners won’t let them use their facilities for cleaning up or toileting, with no home there is no kitchen to get food warm even in the midst of winter. I thought of many things while reading this book that I’m sure many homeless shelters would appreciate receiving to pass onto their clients. This is just a short list I made up when I finished the book:

Toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant and soap, wet wipes for baby and adults (they have no other way to get clean), disposable diapers for babies and adults (babies since they don’t have laundry facilities to wash cloth diapers and adult ones since many of these people have to ‘hold it’ until they can find a place to go which may be longer than their bladders and bowels can tolerate). Also tampons, sanitary napkins, mini-pads for females. Bottled water packs, white tube socks which can fit a variety of foot sizes, blankets for the winter along with hats, mittens, coats, sweaters. The shelters themselves can always use supplies of food if they serve food.

For live-in shelters, especially ones that take in women and children they can use shampoo, child’s barrettes and pony tail ties, soaps, shower gels, brushes, combs, make-up, nail polish, nail polish remover, razors. Why things like barrettes and shower gels? These women and children have lost so much, giving them those articles like other females use, allows them to regain some dignity, femininity and feel that others care about them. Children’s books, coloring books and crayons can be used by bored children as well. Check with your nearest shelter that you would like to bless with these articles and check whether they can use them.

This book has a powerful message and for that I give it five stars although the writing itself could use some help with editing, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me know your thoughts and ideas!