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Sitdown Sunday: 7 deadly reads

The very best of the week’s writing from around the web.

IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.

We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.

As part of our Homeless Ireland coverage, this week’s stories are all about homelessness, both in Ireland and abroad.

1. Homeless love

_azap3776_s-2-630x420 Source: Donal Moloney

Thomas and Helen are in love. They live on the streets of Dublin. This is their story.

(TheJournal.ie, approx 3 mins reading time, 546 words)

“I just got with my new girlfriend here. I would like to [get off the drink]. I’ve started to think. I have a couple of charges for drunk and disorderly there a couple of days ago. I might have to go back to prison for a couple of weeks or months. I was thinking of getting my head together and, obviously, get her head together.”

2. Hustling and homelessness

Homeless Source: AP/Press Association Images

Steven Boone has spent time living in emergency shelters, and writes about how hustling is a big part of homelessness.

(Capital New York, approx 36 mins reading time, 7377 words)

I’m not used to living like this, is the common refrain. I had cars, fly clothes, always stayed with a fresh haircut. I got to get back to that, got to get on my grind, stack this money, until I’m back to the lifestyle I’m used to. You’ve never seen so many designer shades as you do in a New York City homeless shelter.

3. “No one cares about my family”

guardian homeless

The Guardian spent a week at Enfield’s emergency housing unit, and its multimedia reporting gives an insight into the desperate situations people find themselves in.

(The Guardian, approx 16 mins reading time, 3278 words)

This morning, Christina’s brought along her eldest, Si. “I’ve been crying from the moment I wake up, and trying to hide it from the kids,” she says. “I didn’t want the kids to be disappointed in me. I didn’t want them to be taken away from me.” She broke down during a recent school run, she says, “in front of about 100 other parents”.

4. A night at the soup run

fv8842-630x421 Source: ©Fran Veale

Every evening, people go to Cork Simon’s soup run for food. But they’re not all homeless, and their stories are heartbreaking.

(TheJournal.ie, approx 9 mins reading time, 1860 words)

Right now I work in part time job; it is not enough hours to pay for everything. That is why I am broke. He gestures to his friends. “People like me come in here. If I have the money I can make the shopping. Right now I am broke.”

5. Reunited with home

United States of America Travel Stock Source: Press Association Images

Johnye Williams went to San Francisco to see what life in Haight Ashbury was like. But her dream turned sour and she found herself homeless.

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(SF Gate, approx 36 mins reading time, 7377 words)

By November, Williams’ stout, 5-foot-6 frame had shed 23 pounds. She smelled from going weeks without a bath, and her shoulder-length blond hair was matted and continually itchy. Her black-frame glasses were scratched.

6. Living in filth

tampa bay times

This year, the Tampa Bay Times won a Pulitzer Prize for its local reporting on Hillsborough County’s Homeless Recovery program. They discovered the homeless were housed in “filthy, crime-ridden slums”.

(Tampa Bay Times, approx 20 mins reading time, 4050 words)

That the county was paying for dangerous housing first came to light last month, when the Times reported that William “Hoe” Brown, the politically connected former chairman of the Tampa Port Authority, had collected more than $600,000 to house the poor in squalid complexes, including an illegal, makeshift trailer park behind his Tampa office.


Naval Academy Boxing Source: AP/Press Association Images

Bob Satterfield was a boxing contender in the 1950s. But by 1997, there were rumours he was sleeping rough. A journalist went to find out what had happened to him.

(Los Angeles Times, approx 55 mins reading time, 11184 words)

Mainwaring faxed me several photos of Satterfield and one of a wife named Iona, whom he divorced in 1952. The library at The Times, meanwhile, unearthed still more Satterfield clippings, including a brief 1994 profile by Orange County Register columnist Bill Johnson. (“Bob Satterfield, one of the top six heavyweight fighters in the world from 1950 to 1956, today is homeless, living in old, abandoned houses in Santa Ana.”)

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

The Sports Pages – the best sports writing collected every week by TheScore.ie >

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