Rough Sleepers: Dr. Jim O’Connell’s Urgent Mission To Bring Healing to Homeless People

Books on Tape. Jan. 2023. 8:42 hrs. ISBN 9780593677476. $76. BIOG
Pulitzer Prize winner Kidder (The Soul of a New Machine) takes listeners inside an organization providing health care for Boston’s unhoused population. At the end of his medical residency, Jim O’Connell was asked to spend a year providing health care to citizens without homes. This was a job he felt he could not refuse, and his one year became his life’s calling. Kidder reveals the complications and daily frustrations faced by unhoused people and the flawed systems that continue to fail them. O’Connell learned firsthand how challenging it is to provide health care to a population that cannot store medications, is often robbed, and who needs to find their next meal rather than consider long-term treatment. The stories contained here are gruesome and heartbreaking. Narrated by the author, this audiobook brings humanity to his subjects as only a firsthand observer can do. He differentiates voicing, which helps listeners get to know the people in the book.
VERDICT This excellent audio shines a light on the unsung heroes providing frontline health care to unhoused people and demonstrates the power of a small group dedicated to a cause. A recommended purchase for all libraries.
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