On January 17, Pulitzer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder’s new book, Rough Sleepers: Dr. Jim O’Connell’s Urgent Mission to Bring Healing to Homeless People , will hit shelves. Published by Random House, the book provides an intimate glimpse inside the founding and growth of BHCHP and the lives of Dr. O’Connell, BHCHP’s founding physician and president , and his longtime patients, many of whom were “rough sleepers,” living on the streets of Boston for years.
Ahead of Rough Sleepers’ debut, The Boston Globe published an interview with Kidder and Dr. O’Connell, who discussed the book and the big question of ending homelessness.
“The ultimate solution to homelessness is going to be learning how to prevent it in the first place,” Dr. O’Connell says in the interview.
“Homelessness is a symptom of a huge number of ills in American society,” Kidder adds. “There is a terrible lack of truly affordable housing and decent affordable housing because that covers all the problems that can lead to homelessness, combined with the long-term effects of child abuse, educational deficiencies, lack of treatment for mental illness, foster care — you could go on and on. It’s not one little thing.”