Saturday, November 26, 2022

Charity Sunday for Shelter – #Homelessness #CharitySunday #FreeBook

Charity Sunday banner

It’s only a few days after Thanksgiving. I’m still musing on how fortunate I am – and how many individuals don't enjoy the same blessings. In particular, during the holidays I can’t help but think about people who are facing the Christmas season without a roof over their heads.

Shelter is something that many of us take for granted, but for some, it’s a luxury they literally cannot afford. The pandemic and the world-wide financial crisis have made the problem even worse.

Homelessness is a systemic problem that can only be solved by informed public policy. Alas, there’s no charity that I know which will increase the probability that local, regional or national governments will take the necessary steps to make affordable housing available to all.

However, there are many organizations that work to solve the immediate problems that face the unsheltered. One of my favorites is Rosie’s Place, a multi-service community center in Boston that offers women emergency shelter and meals, a food pantry, ESOL classes, legal assistance, wellness care, one-on-one support, housing and job search services, and community outreach. I’ve been an intermittent donor to Rosie’s Place for more than forty years. Indeed, if you go back through the Charity Sundays I’ve sponsored since 2017, you notice Rosie’s popping up at least once a year – often during the holiday season, when so many of us feel called to return home.


I’ll donate two dollars to Rosie’s Place for every comment I receive on this post. In addition, I’m giving away a copy of my holiday short story Slush to anyone who asks. Just tell me in your comment what ebook format you prefer.

Slush was the first book I ever self-published. It’s a holiday romance about a wealthy, entitled guy who gets mugged on Christmas Eve (in Boston, as it happens) and is rescued by a homeless person.



Hey, mister – you okay?”

The youthful voice filtered down the deep, dark hole to Ian’s flickering awareness.

Urgh.” That was his own voice, a groan that kicked up pounding echoes in his head. Irritated by his own incapacity, pushing the pain aside, he tried again.

I – uh – I don’t know...” He forced his heavy eyelids open, blinking to dispel the maddening blurriness, and tried to focus on the pale face hovering over him. “What – what happened?”

I think you were mugged. I found you unconscious in the alley, lying in the gutter next to some fancy car.” The teenager had a thin face with a toothy grin. A knitted Bruins cap pulled low over his ears hid the kid’s hair. His breath condensed into white clouds when he spoke.

A shiver wracked Ian’s body. Even that slight movement exacerbated the throbbing at the back of his skull. Damn, it hurt! And it was freezing in here!

Where am I?” Ian tried to sit up, impatient as always with any kind of weakness. “Ow – shit!” He sank back onto something yielding, breathing hard. A damp smell of mold assailed him, mixed with hints of motor oil and wood smoke.

Better not move,” the kid counseled. “You might have a concussion.”

Ignoring this advice, Ian managed to work himself into a half-sit. The softness beneath him was an old mattress, covered with a stained woolen blanket. He leaned against a plywood wall. Cold seeped through the thin barrier from the winter night outside, all the way through his coat and his shirt. His back muscles cramped and he shivered again. He glanced around the dim, crowded space, noting that the other walls and the floor were bare concrete.

Here – try this.” The younger man grabbed a thick wad of newspapers from a pile in the corner. “Tilt forward – yeah – that’s right.” He slipped the papers into the space between Ian’s back and the wall. They worked surprisingly well as insulation. The kid smiled, showing those even white teeth once again. “Better now?”

Ian nodded, then regretted it as the pain in his head surged. “How did I get here?”

The teen’s laugh was high and girlish as he gestured toward a rusty supermarket cart parked near the door in the plywood partition.

You’re joking!”

Nope. A sled might have been better on a night like this, though.”

But how... why...?”

The kid gazed at him, hands on his hips. “I couldn’t leave you there in the slush, could I? You would’ve froze to death, no question.”

Ian peered more closely at his savior. The teen – well, he might have been twenty, twenty one at most – looked plump in his miscellany of sweaters and sweatshirts. Underneath the bulky layers, though, he was slightly built. His hands, wrapped in orange mittens, were small. Bright red long johns showed through the holes in his ragged jeans. Despite the inclement weather, he wore no boots, only dirty sneakers, which looked soaked through. That observation made Ian realize how wet and cold he was in his own clothing.

He shivered again. “Don’t you have any heat in here?”

The kid shrugged. “I could light a fire, I guess. I don’t like to do that too often – makes it more likely someone will figure out I’m in here. But I suppose nobody’s going to be prowling around on Christmas Eve, ‘specially when it’s so miserable out.”

I hope you’ll visit the other bloggers participating in today’s Charity Sunday. Please, please – leave a comment and do a little to help homeless women in Boston. Don’t forget to let me know if you want the book!


Ornery Owl of Naughty Netherworld Press and Readers Roost said...

Slush sounds like a wonderful story with a great message. If you'd like me to do a promo post and/or review, I'd be happy to do so. I can do a promo post anytime. I don't have a slot for a review until after Christmas. I'd prefer a PDF copy.
I don't know if I'll be able to get a Charity Sunday post up this time. I'm under the gun to finish editing my latest novelette, The Beasts of Hank's Wood, for potential inclusion in the forthcoming Beastly Tales anthology from Dragon Soul Press. This story has been contentious. I've almost got it wrestled into submission!
I've tweeted the post.

Larry Archer said...

A worthy charity indeed. Foxy and I support SafeNest, a refuge for women suffering from domestic or sexual abuse In Las Vegas. Good luck on the blog hop.

Tina Donahue said...

No one should be homeless, especially in the US. It's a national shame fueled by greed. SMDH.

Anonymous said...

A great cause year round, and especially important in winter.

Colleen C. said...

A wonderful cause! Happy Sunday!

bn100 said...

great cause
bn100candg at hotmail dot com

H.B. said...

Homelessness is such a big issue. This sounds like a great cause to support.

Lucy K. said...

Rosie's Place sounds like a great service where the need is great. Homelessness is such a problem for many today. Thank you for bringing attention to it..

Anonymous said...

Thank you for telling us about Rosie’s Place! Epub would be lovely…

vitajex at aol dot com

Lucy Felthouse said...

A fantastic cause. Well done, Lisabet.

Author H K Carlton said...

Rosie's Place sounds like an amazing organization. Thank you, Lisabet, for bringing it back to our attention.

Anonymous said...

My main Boston Give-to is The Home for Little Wanderers, founded vowel long ago, and now greatly extended to give shelter and more to teens and "young adults" who have recently aged out of foster homes. They give more than shelter, including ways to train in job skills and even college. My mother always contributed to them, beginning back in the 50s, and I always label my contributions to her memory. www.sacchi-green,

Fiona McGier said...

Great cause! All any of really need is a warm place to sleep, food and drink, and friends. Everything else is just gravy. Unfortunately, those who have more than enough, never seem to think they have enough--and no amount will satisfy the empty hole in their souls. Sad. Glad to help you donate to Rosie's Place.

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