Homeless: The Untold Story of a Mother’s Struggle in Crazy Rich Singapore

Epigram Books
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Ten years ago, Liyana Dhamirah was in a precarious situation: at 22, she was heavily pregnant and had no place to call home.

For Liyana, home was often unstable. Once a bright teenager full of optimism, she faced uncertainty and found no support from family, government agencies and welfare groups. She had nowhere to go, no one to turn to. When she started living on a beach in Sembawang, she discovered a community of people — families — who were homeless just like her. They stuck together and watched out for each other, even when there were raids. She learned that in prosperous Singapore, the homeless are not always identifiable by appearance alone.

Months later, journalists eventually uncovered Liyana’s story and how she navigated a bureaucracy of obstacles. Today she is a successful entrepreneur and this is her memoir.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Epigram Books
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Published on
Sep 30, 2019
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Pages
144
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ISBN
9789814845588
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
Biography & Autobiography / Women
Business & Economics / Women in Business
Social Science / Poverty & Homelessness
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Jesus instructed his disciples:

"Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts, take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or staff ..." Mathew 10:9, 10.


I was homeless and I had nothing. One by one I lost my bags. I ran out of money, and my shoes had holes in them. I learned that I could survive with very little and people would give and help me. I had not been very good at receiving before. It taught me how to receive, yet also, how to give, as I tried to help the drunks and to share what I had with others.

I went to my Bible Study and the subject of homelessness came up. One person said he never gave to the homeless people because he thought they were all a scam. The preacher responded "'As you do to the least of these, so you do to me".

I shared with the group that I had been homeless. And it was difficult for me to ask. I never had been one to ask for what I needed. I gradually learned that I had to ask to survive. I asked, one day, an obviously poor woman for bus fare. As she gave me 60 cents, we talked and I was able to tell her where she could get free clothes for her kids.

I only asked those people I felt guided to ask. And I believe they were blessed by giving. One woman came back, the day after she met me, and said God had told her that if she gave me money she would be healed. There are all kinds of blessings for the giver as well as the receiver.

This confrontation in Bible Study made me think there was a need for me to write a book to share the real story of homelessness.

While I was homeless I thought it was God's will and I was supposed to experience this to grow stronger, and I was supposed to write a book about it. But the time never was right to write, till now.
Named a Gift Book for the Discerning New Yorker by The New York Times

In a metropolis like New York, homelessness can blend into the urban landscape. For editor Susan Greenfield, however, New York is the place where a community of resilient, remarkable individuals are yearning for a voice. Sacred Shelter follows the lives of thirteen formerly homeless people, all of whom have graduated from the life skills empowerment program, an interfaith life skills program for homeless and formerly homeless individuals in New York. Through frank, honest interviews, these individuals share traumas from their youth, their experience with homelessness, and the healing they have discovered through community and faith.

Edna Humphrey talks about losing her grandparents, father, and sister to illness, accident, and abuse. Lisa Sperber discusses her bipolar disorder and her whiteness. Dennis Barton speaks about his unconventional path to becoming a first-generation college student and his journey to reconnect with his family. The memoirists share stories about youth, family, jobs, and love. They describe their experiences with racism, mental illness, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Each of the thirteen storytellers honestly expresses his or her brokenheartedness and how finding community and faith gave them hope to carry on.

Interspersed among these life stories are reflections from program directors, clerics, mentors, and volunteers who have worked with and in the life skills empowerment program. In his reflection, George Horton shares his deep gratitude for and solidarity with the 500-plus individuals he has come to know since he co-founded the program in 1989. While religion can be divisive, Horton firmly believes that all faiths urge us to “welcome the stranger” and, as Pope Francis asks, “accompany” them through the struggles of life. Through solidarity and suffering, many formerly homeless individuals have found renewed faith in God and community. Beyond trauma and strife, Dorothy Day’s suggestion that “All is grace” is personified in these thirteen stories. Jeremy Kalmanofsky, rabbi at Ansche Chesed Synagogue, says the program points toward a social fabric of encounter and recognition between strangers, who overcome vast differences to face one another, which in Hebrew is called Panim el Panim.

While Sacred Shelter does not tackle the socioeconomic conditions and inequities that cause homelessness, it provides a voice for a demographic group that continues to suffer from systemic injustice and marginalization. In powerful, narrative form, it expresses the resilience of individuals who have experienced homelessness and the hope and community they have found. By listening to their stories, we are urged to confront our own woundedness and uncover our desire for human connection, a sacred shelter on the other side of suffering.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, NAMED BY THE TIMES AS ONE OF "6 BOOKS TO HELP UNDERSTAND TRUMP'S WIN" AND SOON TO BE A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD

"You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist

"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal

"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE GENERAL NON-FICTION 

From Harvard sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond, a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America
 
In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.

The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.” She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas.

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced  into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION | WINNER OF THE PEN/JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH AWARD FOR NONFICTION | WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION | FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New York Times Book Review • The Boston Globe •  The Washington Post • NPR • Entertainment Weekly • The New Yorker • Bloomberg •  Esquire • Buzzfeed • Fortune • San Francisco Chronicle • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • St. Louis Post-Dispatch •  Politico •  The Week • Bookpage • Kirkus Reviews •  Amazon •  Barnes and Noble Review •  Apple •  Library Journal • Chicago Public Library • Publishers Weekly • Booklist • Shelf Awareness
Read the critically acclaimed #1 New York Times best-seller with more than one million copies in print. Same Kind of Different as Me was a major motion picture release by Paramount in fall 2017.

Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, this true story also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love.

Meet Denver, raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana until he escaped the “Man” – in the 1960’s – by hopping a train. Non-trusting, uneducated, and violent, he spent another 18 years on the streets of Dallas and Fort Worth.

Meet Ron Hall, a self-made millionaire in the world of high priced art deals -- concerned with fast cars, beautiful women, and fancy clothes.

And the woman who changed their lives -- Miss Debbie: “The skinniest, nosiest, pushiest, woman I ever met, black or white.” She helped the homeless and gave of herself to all of “God’s People,” and had a way of knowing how to listen and helping others talk and be found – until cancer strikes.

Same Kind of Different as Me is a tale told in two unique voices – Ron Hall & Denver Moore – weaving two completely different life experiences into one common journey where both men learn “whether we is rich or poor or something in between this earth ain’t no final restin’ place. So in a way, we is all homeless-just workin’ our way toward home.”

The story takes a devastating twist when Deborah discovers she has cancer. Will Deborah live or die? Will Denver learn to trust a white man? Will Ron embrace his dying wife's vision to rescue Denver? Or will Denver be the one rescuing Ron? There's pain and laughter, doubt and tears, and in the end a triumphal story that readers will never forget.

Continue this story of friendship in What Difference Do It Make?: Stories of Hope and Healing, available now. Same Kind of Different as Me also is available in Spanish.

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