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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helping the Homeless, 19 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: A Gift of Hope (Hardcover)
Firstly, it is important to realise that this is NOT a novel but a memoir. The book and product description pretty well summarise the nitty-gritty of the contents. An instruction from above came to Danielle Steel (DS) following prayer leading to the outreach project that grew in size, supplies and organisation, all funded by herself. It folded after 11 years because it was financially unsustainable. The mission seems 'a gift of hope' but also life-changing therapy for DS following the tragic loss of her son. She describes vividly the awful plight of the homeless in San Francisco and the attitudes of the general public to them. The dangers that they and her team face in their environment are detailed and the major problems of mental illness and lack of facilities and legislation to deal with these and other physical issues. DS makes the point that France and Britain are far superior in the structure and access to medical and psychiatric care for the homeless keeping more off the streets.

Whilst applauding Ms Steel for her charitable efforts, I would have been interested in the 'whys and hows' they ended up living on the streets, their thoughts and states of mind, methods of survival, stories of their lives and perception of the future. DS states that they deliberately did not ask questions for reasons of privacy. She briefly touches on a few examples. Okay, but it could have added more interest and insight into this short informative, often touching read.
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