Gotta Find a Home 4: More Conversations on the Streets

Adult
Rated 4.00/5 based on 1 reviews
Daily Conversations recounted with friends who, in the harshest winters, have been forced to live on the sidewalks of a major city. Their lives are tragic, yet the majority of citizens are perhaps only two paychecks away from living such a lifestyle. Are you prepared for disability due to accident, addiction, physical or mental illness? How will you survive? Learn what life on the streets means. More
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About Dennis Cardiff

New Author Dennis Cardiff by Diane Walters.

Dennis's poetry has been published in the Sheaf, the University of Saskatchewan's newspaper, the Writing.com Anthology and online poetry magazine, Shadowlands Express. The author has hosted book signings at three Chapters/Indigo locations: Rideau, Pinecrest and South Keys. His three published books Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People (First and Second Edition), More Conversations with Street People and Conversations on the Streets have received 68 Amazon 4.5 star reviews.

Can you find a secure shelter for the night? Have you experienced intense hunger? Are you a regular victim of verbal, emotional or physical abuse? Read the conversations I have had with people who are hungry, homeless and at risk. All author proceeds from the sale of books will be used to support those forced onto the streets, the Ottawa Innercity Ministries, Street Outreach Program and the proposed Cardiff Homeless and Rehabilitation Clinic.

Dennis Cardiff has been involved with street people since 2010, when he began to reach out, on his own, to some of the people without homes who he encountered in his daily life. In his new book, he documents conversations he's had with them over the past 4 years and, in the process, gives those who are often robbed of their humanity a human face. Written in diary form by month, and including some of Cardiff's own poetry, the author chronicles the lives of people who are often ignored, feared or reviled. About this project, Cardiff says,

Writing about the homeless and helping the homeless, has given my life a purpose that it didn't have before. Documenting their stories will, I hope, introduce them to the public in a non-threatening way. Some panhandlers look intimidating, but that disappears when one sees them laugh.

by Diane Walters

Dennis Cardiff lives with his wife in Ottawa, Canada. They each have two grown sons from previous marriages. An artist of many talents, Cardiff has been a professional portrait painter since 1972. He studied art at the Ontario College of Art, University of Saskatchewan and the University of Ottawa.

Gotta Find a Home 2: More Conversations with Street People was self published 5 April 2016. Gotta Find a Home 3: Conversations on the Streets was published 25 May, 2017. Gotta Find a Home 4: More Conversations on the Streets is in final edit and will be released in the near future.

Reviews

Review by: Rebecca Gransden on Oct. 1, 2018 :
Author Dennis Cardiff relates the times he has spent among those living a street life. The book is a record of conversations Cardiff deems notable, structured in a dated and chronological manner. Cardiff doesn’t transcribe verbatim, but gives a fresh report using his recollection of how the conversation went. This gives an interesting feel to the book, as the voice is consistent, and leaves the impression of a singular perspective which is very anchoring. With so many individuals featured, it’s of benefit to be guided by the author, especially as his matter-of-fact tone is welcome. The subject matter is one which faces the potential pitfalls of a patronising, mawkish, or accusatory approach, and I’m glad to say that Cardiff avoids all of these.

This book is the forth in the series, and the first to catch my attention and subsequently read. I don’t think it’s necessary to have read the previous books, but I am curious now to do so. This forth instalment conveys the daily struggles of those who for one reason or another - and the reasons are as multitude as there are people - have very little in the way of material support, and in most cases very deep and consistent emotional and physical problems. By letting those living these lives recount their day-to-day existence through the everyday conversations they have a brutal array of despondency is revealed. The hardships displayed are not particular to those facing the most extreme consequences, but the psychological and sociological barrier constructed to enforce the delusional gulf between “us” and “them” is painful to behold. As frustrating as it is to witness so-called self-destructive behaviour in those who seem incapable of being able to help themselves, it’s equally as reprehensible to see wilful lack of understanding from those institutions tasked with ensuring those who have fallen on very hard times have at least some relief from suffering, and don’t face squalor. No one, however troubled and difficult, should be demeaned or denied basic dignity.

Cardiff himself states that his past includes some challenging times, and it’s very obvious that the camaraderie with those he befriends stems from him having experienced some of the issues they have in common. Inevitably, there is a grimness to any work dealing with this issue, but as ever it is the individuals who compel, and by reporting these small snapshots of fringe lives Cardiff delivers a no-nonsense record of voices that may otherwise go unheard.

At the time of publication profits from the sale of this series went to organisations who assist those who live on the streets, and as far as I know that is still the case.
(review of free book)

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