For the past few years we have had people experiencing homelessness living in tents on the beach next to our house. There’s Jeff, a vet with a long rap sheet who calls us when he thinks someone may cause problems for us. The police called me after he threatened Tommy, a vet who lives in a trailer, with a butcher knife. My statement that he was a good man with an anger issue meant he only served three weeks instead of the five years he would have got without someone vouching for him.
My heart goes out to Aaron, a gentle African American man who meditated to keep at bay. When he failed, he screamed for us to come and help him. When the authorities finally found him permanent housing, he didn’t want to go and cried as Amy helped him pack a small bag, leaving behind the rest of his belongings which are still in our garage, six months later. No one seems to know where he is.
We loved Gigi, a petite 60’s something woman with swirling white hair who surrounded her pup tent with carefully arranged stones, driftwood and flowers and entertained an endless stream of young men. She said she fed them sardines, but we found needles on the beach after they left. I also found Gigi’s dentures in the sand after she lost them in a meth-induced psychotic break which she didn’t remember a few hours later.
Jake and Maggie were barely 20 years old, but already they were trapped in a cycle of addiction following years of foster homes and abuse. I hoped they were turning things around when Paul, a gray-haired heroin dealer, raped her, and Jake left in a rage. I helped Maggie gather her belongings, which someone had dumped under a tree. I never saw any of them again.
Seeing the impact of the homeless crisis in my community makes me aware of the real people behind the horrifying statistics whose lives have been disrupted by abuse, mental illness, medical-bill bankruptcy, or a myriad of other reasons. The worst are families who have hit hard times, and are living in garages, vans, even their cars.
Please help me share what you are doing about homelessness in your community- and send ideas, organizations and other resources for people who want to do more.
Here are a few articles that have touched me deeply.
by Kathy Eldon
In 1997, Kathy Eldon moved with her husband and two children from England to Kenya, where she found freedom as she had never known it before and was ready to push back from her old, restrictive life. Diving into this tumultuous new world as a journalist and writer, she embraced the energy and creativity of Kenyans, both black and white. But her world collapsed when her twenty-two-year-old son, Dan – an artist and photojournalist on assignment for Reuters – was stoned to death by an angry mob in Somalia, killed by the very people he was trying to help. Kathy’s journey through this tragic loss was deeply spiritual as she discovered that, in many ways, Dan was still ever – present in her life. This gripping international saga includes a passionate love, a dangerous coup in Kenya, and a compelling glimpse into a woman on the brink of self-discovery. After her son’s murder, Kathy began to publish his art, which gained popularity worldwide and – together with her daughter, Amy – launched a global foundation celebrating Dan’s work as a creative activist. Throughout Kathy’s exploration of profound tragedy, we find the secrets to not only surviving, but being truly, gloriously alive.
by Chronicle Books LLC Staff, Kathy Eldon and Amy Eldon
This journal is designed to help you examine the way you approach love and romantic relationships. Guided prompts discuss topics ranging from characteristics your past partners have shared, to dreams you have for you and your partner.
by Kathy Eldon & Amy Eldon, Illustrations by Michelle Barnes
Soul Catcher takes you on a self-guided journey along a spiritual path forged from the realization of your own dreams and wishes, and the utilization of the wisdom of your own inner voice. This beautiful journal will help you find ways to break through the barriers that stand in your way and offer support as you shape and define your true values and goals so you can live life to its fullest.
by Kathy Eldon & Amy Eldon Turteltaub
Over the past decade, this classic work has helped thousands find meaningful ways to overcome the despair of losing a loved one. Now, Angel Catcher has been revised and updated to convey its powerful message of hope to a new audience. Featuring brand new illustrations and a fresh updated look, the tasteful pages of this journal guide the user through the process of mourning and onward to a lasting sense of peace in the face of loss.
by Jennifer New & Kathy Eldon
Only 22 when he lost his life on assignment in Somalia, photojournalist Dan Eldon left behind much more than the journals that became the basis for Chronicle’s best-seller The Journey is the Destination. He left a lifetime of adventures that continue to inspire. Raised in Kenya, he took numerous expeditions across Africa that helped him to understand and love the continent. Through his safaris and benevolent crusades – and with interludes of study and work in the US and London, and trips around the world – he crafted a philosophy of curiosity, creativity, adventure and charity. Intensely visual, like the life it describes, Dan Eldon: The Art of Life is more than a biography. It is an exploration of one man’s will to take in everything life has to offer; an example of a life lived for and art experienced as life.”
by Jennifer New
Photojournalist Dan Eldon left behind much more than the astonishing illustrated journals that would form The Journey is the Destination when he lost his life at age twenty-two while on assignment in Somalia. He also bequeathed a life story that has inspired students, teachers, artists and creative activists – as well as a forthcoming film, an apparel line and the Spring 2011 collection from Tom’s Shoes. Raised in Kenya, Dan grew up with a unique outlook on life. Through adventurous safaris and benevolent crusades around the world, he crafted a philosophy of curiosity, creativity and charity. This unique visual biography showcases previously unpublished artwork from Dan’s acclaimed journals, letters and snapshots that take readers on a journey through Dan’s life and beyond, exploring the impact made by this remarkable artist on everyone who has encountered his story.
by Dan Eldon & Kathy Eldon
The best-selling and critically acclaimed book The Journey is the Destination features a selection of over 200 pages from the journals of photojournalist Dan Eldon. It is a legacy of a young artist killed just as his creative powers were beginning to be recognized by himself and others. Already an international inspiration for a documentary, feature film, a clothing line, and the Spring 2011 collection of Tom’s Shoes. Dan’s life sets an admirable example of how to be young, human and alive and will continue to inspire future generations as it has for the past decade.
Safari as a way of life:
Safari as a way of life: Amy Eldon Turteltaub & Kathy Eldon