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    Homelessness might not be what you think

    About 3 years ago, I watched a documentary called Signs of Humanity that addressed the homelessness situation across the country.  It really opened my eyes to those that are homeless and their situation.  No two people are the same and their reasons for living on the streets vary.  This book shines a light on one man's story and how living on the street impacted him and his family. Lonnie's story could be the story for many of those that are homeless.  He had a family - parents, a sister - many that loved him.  But through various circumstances, he found himself living on the street.  But this is a life he chose and he made it work.  He still had a relationship with his family and once a year would visit them.  This was when Lori had the brainstorm to work with Lonnie to tell his story through postcards.  She would pose questions to him and he would answer them and that became the framework to share his life with us. There are 94 postcards in all and the answers and comments from Lonnie range from the simple to complex.  He even drew pictures on some of the cards.  I appreciated that the postcards were included in the book because it really put his story into perspective and gave me an insight into Lonnie's mind.  The one thing that never wavered was Lonnie's faith in a higher power and doing what was right to protect children and those that were weaker around him.  Lonnie may have been living on the street, but he never shunned his family or lost touch with them, even if that communication was sporadic.  Lori recounts various stories from their childhood until his passing of the good times they had together.  Not everything was great and there were some dark days for Lonnie, but he persevered throughout it all.  I would challenge anyone reading this book to think about the question that is posed to Lonnie and how you might answer the question yourself.  Would you be as selfless, open, and caring as Lonnie? It is easy to become jaded in this world when we see people on the street begging for money since some are not in need and are just out for an easy buck.  But those that are truly homeless might just have an interesting tale to tell as I discovered in this book.  And it wasn't just Lonnie's story, but Lori's as well.  Her journey through life wasn't easy but the thought to work with Lonnie to understand his story was genius.  I'm sure she is glad that she went through this effort over the four-year timeframe and that she learned much about Lonnie, his life, and his thoughts on life.  They say we should ask our parents for the family history before they pass away and that is just what Lori did with her brother.  Now his life is here for us to understand and appreciate. This book might open your eyes to those around you and that maybe there is more to the story that you could even imagine. This book touched my heart in various ways and I am sure it will touch your heart too.
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