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If You See Them: Young, Unhoused, and Alone…
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If You See Them: Young, Unhoused, and Alone in America (udgave 2024)

af Vicki Sokolik (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1211,615,354 (4.5)2
A moving exploration of the crisis of homeless youth--told through the inspiring stories of a woman on the frontlines and the kids themselves. They hide in plain sight. They survive on free school breakfasts and lunches, join school sports teams in order to shower, sleep on friends' couches, in parks, or on the streets. Their official designation is "unaccompanied homeless youth"--they are not "runaways" breaking free from strict parenting; these are kids seeking safety.  They have escaped abusive parents, have been abandoned, or have never had a home to begin with. When Vicki Sokolik's son brought home a classmate who was living on her own and was dropping out of school to support herself, Vicki stepped in to help. As she learned more about the invisible population of young people navigating life alone, she discovered the countless ways they are overlooked and impeded by the system. She founded a nonprofit and worked to change legislation in her home state of Florida to give these kids agency over their lives.  If You See Them wakes us up to the issue of youth homelessness in America, through Sokolik's own story of advocacy and through the voices of the kids themselves. Her grassroots action demonstrates the world-shifting power of compassion, acceptance, belonging, and self-determination, and the capacity each of us has to change our communities for the better.… (mere)
Medlem:benruth
Titel:If You See Them: Young, Unhoused, and Alone in America
Forfattere:Vicki Sokolik (Forfatter)
Info:Spiegel & Grau (2024), 336 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
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Nøgleord:Ingen

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If You See Them: Young, Unhoused, and Alone in America af Vicki Sokolik

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If You See Them by Vicki Sokolik is a look at one woman's work to help the many unhoused young people in the country, starting locally and spreading the word nationally.

While the emphasis is on the young people, largely high school age, who have been helped it is also a bit of a memoir. I think the best thing about including her background is to highlight both what a single admittedly privileged person can do to help as well as to illustrate the many things so many of us take for granted as part of growing up in a country that is among the richest in the world. That definition, though, is misleading with the number of people living below the poverty line and all but ignored by those better off and the government "of the people."

I saw one person horribly mislabel this as "white saviorism." First of all, the term, particularly in common usage, is synonymous with white paternalism. At the heart of that is a belief that those helped are somehow objectively something less than those helping. The second aspect is that it is race or ethnicity driven, thus the "white" adjective. Sokolik helps young people, regardless of race, ethnicity, etc. Second, she readily acknowledges that part of what she does is for herself, to make her feel better about herself, to feel she is living up to the kind of person she wants to be. 100% altruism doesn't exist, but many people act like their acts are just that. Sokolik doesn't. And third, her view of those she helps isn't of helping second class citizens but of helping those whose circumstances have put insurmountable, without help, obstacles in their way. If you believe that compassionate humanitarianism is the same as saviorism, feel free, but know you're misusing the term.

I liked that the people were given a platform for their own voice rather than strictly Sokolik telling us what happened. In some cases it highlighted lessons she learned, both about how best to help and about herself as a person. Over the course of the book, which means over the course of the years she has been doing this, I had the feeling she has grown and changed as much as those helped by her and her organization. So I guess, while this served as a bit of a call to action (my little bit has been to tutor at community centers at places I've lived), it was also a moving memoirish work as well.

Highly recommended for those unfamiliar with the number of children and young people who fall between the cracks of the system, most of the time because of the system but sometimes simply because the help that might be available is never communicated to those who need it. Also a nice read for those who know of an issue that needs attention in their community, whether a different one or not, and might want some inspiration for trying to find solutions when it seems like only roadblocks.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  pomo58 | Oct 11, 2023 |
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A moving exploration of the crisis of homeless youth--told through the inspiring stories of a woman on the frontlines and the kids themselves. They hide in plain sight. They survive on free school breakfasts and lunches, join school sports teams in order to shower, sleep on friends' couches, in parks, or on the streets. Their official designation is "unaccompanied homeless youth"--they are not "runaways" breaking free from strict parenting; these are kids seeking safety.  They have escaped abusive parents, have been abandoned, or have never had a home to begin with. When Vicki Sokolik's son brought home a classmate who was living on her own and was dropping out of school to support herself, Vicki stepped in to help. As she learned more about the invisible population of young people navigating life alone, she discovered the countless ways they are overlooked and impeded by the system. She founded a nonprofit and worked to change legislation in her home state of Florida to give these kids agency over their lives.  If You See Them wakes us up to the issue of youth homelessness in America, through Sokolik's own story of advocacy and through the voices of the kids themselves. Her grassroots action demonstrates the world-shifting power of compassion, acceptance, belonging, and self-determination, and the capacity each of us has to change our communities for the better.

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