** Stories from the Shadows by James O’Connell


Stories From the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor is a collection of stories written about a Boston physician who works with homeless patients. Many stories just tell a particular person’s story, although others tackle more general themes about homelessness, poverty, and mental disease.

The stories are compelling, and the author is, without a doubt, a great physician, very much attuned to his patients and their needs. I would have liked more of a focus on solutions, at least partial solutions since it’s clear that the problem is immense, for how cities can tackle the problem of homelessness with both humanity and financial restraint. The stories make it pretty clear that right now, we are both spending a lot of money and doing a terrible job (most of the time). Not a good combo.

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