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The conclusion to Brenda Anderson’s ‘Coming Home’ series (Hungry for Home) is finally here! If you haven’t started this series, what are you waiting for?? 😉
Brenda doesn’t write fluffy fiction. She tackles the gritty stuff of life, pushing her characters to deal with the reality of the world around them. (And she does a great job of it, too!)
I asked Brenda to share with us this week, but before she does, here’s a quick look at Hungry for Home:
After a troubling encounter with a pregnant teen, Sheila Peterson-Brooks hurries from the crisis pregnancy center into the frigid Minnesota winter where she is mugged and left for dead. After a frantic search, Richard, her husband, finds her, and the police quickly nab the mugger …
A hungry, homeless teen.
The brother of the pregnant girl Sheila had just counseled.
The girl pleads for her brother, and Sheila and Richard choose not to press charges. Instead, they open their home to the boy, a move that could cost them their possessions, and their hearts.
And, in the process, teach them the true meaning of home.
Welcome back, Brenda! Would you share with us your “heart-tug” for this story?
I became aware of the staggering number of homeless teens a few years back. In my county alone, it’s estimated that there are over 700 homeless teens, teens ranging in age from 16 – 21. Below is a made-up interview with Austin Lang, the homeless teen in Hungry for Home. Every teen has a story; it’s my hope and prayer that sharing Austin’s story will raise awareness for homeless teens, and will help eradicate homelessness.
TAKING IT TO THE STREETS
By Connie Phillips
In our continuing series introducing readers to our fine city of Amery, Minnesota, we’re taking a new direction this week. In the past we’ve talked with bakers, pastors, attorneys, store clerks, stay-at-home parents, all showing the bright-happy side of our city. As in any city, there are the sides we’re hesitant to bring to light fearing they’ll stain our town, but it’s in shining a light on that darkness, that our city will truly become better.
So today I’m talking to a young man, age eighteen. He’s like any other eighteen year old who likes video games, sports, food, but there’s one major difference: this young man is homeless. He wishes to remain anonymous for the interview, so we’ll just call him YM for young man. Warning: his answers will break your heart.
YM, how long have you been homeless?
Since I turned eighteen. I was in foster care up till then, but I aged out and had no place to go.
No family or friends to take you in?
(He rolls his eyes) My mom deserted me and my sister, and my grandma died years ago.
Where is your sister?
She’s living with a good foster family now, but I’m keeping close watch on her just in case.
And where did your mother go?
(He snorts) She chose her rich boyfriend over us kids, now she’s living in a gated community.
Do you have a job?
I’d love to find a job, I’m a hard worker, but no one will look twice at me. (He gestures to his worn, too-small clothes, his stringy hair.) Would you?
(To be honest, if I were an employer, I wouldn’t have looked twice at him.) Do you sleep at a homeless shelter?
(He rolls his eyes again.) Right. There’s nowhere near enough space to sleep at a shelter.
So where do you sleep?
I’m lucky. I have a car to sleep in. It doesn’t run, but it keeps out the snow and wind. Other guys I know aren’t as lucky. They sleep in tents or kids playhouses, paper boxes, dumpsters. If they’re lucky they couch hop at friend’s homes or find an abandoned building or a storage shed. Some kids just ride city buses to keep warm.
What about food?
(He shrugs) I scrounge through dumpsters, particularly by restaurants, schools. Sometimes I get food from the food shelf or I get warm meals at churches.
Do you ever steal?
What do you think?
What are your hopes for the future?
To have a place for me and my sister, a place where I can protect her.
Oh, how easily we take for granted a roof over our heads… Thank you for sharing with us, Brenda! Brenda is also offering to share an ecopy of Hungry for Home with one reader. You can use the Rafflecopter to enter, or simply leave a comment on this post and I will be sure to add you to the drawing.
More about Brenda:
Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and is currently President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball, and she loves watching movies with her family. She lives in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 28 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.
Readers can learn more about Brenda S. Anderson at www.brendaandersonbooks.com.
Coming Home Series:
Pieces of Granite (Prequel)
Chain of Mercy (book one)
Memory Box Secrets (book two)
Hungry for Home (book three)