An Experience to make your heart richer – Review by Rox Burkey

Author Dennis Cardiff is remarkable for his compassion for the homeless. As COVID-19 continues, more people are calling the streets home around the world. This author protects these homeless by changing their names and giving their stories dignity. It will make you consider what you might do to make a small difference.

The detailed journal of conversations, events, and individual specifics are heart-wrenching as the atrocities against them are revealed. This memoir of people displaced who are feared rather than helped is worthy of reading from start to end. The impact of this chronicle is significant.

By telling the stories of these people, the author reminds us that all roads are not easy nor equal. Anyone could find themselves in this position if dark stars aligned. This passage struck me as to how close the community is as they strive for family.

“Kind Gestures 14 July 2011

Yesterday, my boss noticed me with Joy. We were both sitting cross-legged on the sidewalk. Her cap with change was in front of her. Her arm was around me and I was pouring my heart out to her. I explained to my boss that I occasionally buy her a sandwich and tea. She accepted that and said it was a kind gesture.

Yesterday, Joy had no shoes. A friend of hers noticed this, asked her size, and then came back with a hundred and fifty dollar pair of women’s leather shoes that he’d stolen. Another friend of hers was arrested for stealing a block of cheese. She admitted that her kidney damage was due to alcohol.”

Author Cardiff takes the time to listen, share a bite to eat with a cup of coffee, and provide compassion to fellow human beings. I recommend this for adults who want more insight into the homeless and perhaps learn a way to add their kind support. I will be reading the others in this series if for no other reason than a portion of the sales goes back to help. Dennis did the cover art and is a renowned artist, poet, and writer.

About the Author:

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 and the Ottawa Innercity Ministries, Street Outreach Program.

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 whom 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
Author Dennis Cardiff, promoting his Gotta Find a Home trilogy, has appeared on the Rogers television talk show, Daytime Ottawa, hosted by Derick Fage. He has been interviewed on various podcasts: Blunt Talk with Gino Arcaro, Butterflies of Wisdom with Win Charles, Self-Discovery Radio: Their Story Matters and Positive Vibrations Roundtable with Sara Troy. Reviewed on The Write Stuff: Gotta Find a Home by Matthew Fray, Journal with Sue: A Friend to the Homeless by Sue Rowland and The Penmen Profile: 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 four published books Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People (First and Second Edition), More Conversations with Street People, Conversations on the Streets and More Conversations on the Streets have received 68 Amazon 4.5-star reviews and 98 Goodreads 4.33-star ratings and reviews.

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, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Ottawa.

In the four-book Gotta Find a Home series Book 1 was published (December 29, 2014), 2 (5 April 2016),3 (May 25, 2017) and 4 (February 12, 2018). As with Book 1, all proceeds from sales go directly to those forced onto the street.

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