My 16 Year Friendship with a Homeless ManAuthor: Jo-Ann Oosterman
Publisher: Pottersfield Press
Tom’s Story is about the author’s friendship with Tom Hogan, a First Nations man who was perpetually homeless, a self-described chronic alcoholic, and a person who had episodes of psychosis. He was also a great storyteller and a gifted Woodland style artist.
Jo-Ann first met Tom in 1998 when she volunteered to co-ordinate an art group for people who were homeless. She was an outreach worker and an HIV counsellor at the time. During the sixteen years of their friendship, she spent countless weekend and evening hours sitting on sidewalks beside Tom, listening and observing, then heading home to write it all down.
With Tom’s permission, she wrote about the hard realities of his life – a traumatic childhood, sleeping in bug-infested shelters, or panhandling in the sub-zero weather for just one more bottle. She became Tom’s ally when he entered and left recovery programs, or simply searched for a safe place to live. Sometimes she helped; sometimes she got in the way. Other times, she tried to walk away, but she was always compelled to seek him out again to follow his story.
Tom’s Story is a unique and raw window into the lives of people who are homeless and marginalized because of addictions, mental illness, and generational trauma. This book is a testament to the power of hope, friendship, the generosity of people who own nothing, and using art to promote healing. It is also a strong argument for the harm-reduction model of managed-alcohol programs.
|ISBN associated with this title:||9781990770142|
|Published on||April 30 2023|
|Dimensions||9(in) x 6(in)|