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Library outreach in SF

May 6th 2010

In London, specialist homeless outreach has been deployed at Heathrow and on number 25 buses, after rough sleepers were found in higher numbers in and on both. However, in San Francisco, USA, it's the city's main public library that has its own outreach worker to offer help to the homeless bibliophiles.

The imposing seven-storey public library in San Francisco is in the busy centre of the city, and thousands pass through its doors every day. These include people like Bruce Sokol, a homeless carpenter, who told Voice of America News: "I use it as my home base. I use the café downstairs and I read a lot."

Indeed, so many homeless people now use this library that it now offers a new service specifically aimed at people like Sokol: a full-time outreach worker for the homeless.

Although the library is concerned about those using the building to sleep, launder clothes, take drugs or wash themselves, outreach worker Leah Esguerra takes a low-key approach. She told Voice of America News: "People come here to study. So when they're in their space and they have their books open in front of them, I feel like it's an intrusion for me to be able to talk them."

But Esguerra doesn't work alone, and four ex-rough sleepers have been hired to help by offering support to those amongst the bookshelves.


May 2010



Held to account

Hostel evacuated from neighbouring blaze

Growing concern for homeless kids

Scottish government publishes homeless stats

A taxing question

Health records

Questioning 42

Cyber spotlight

Deportations have begun

Benefit cut appeal letter

Tin can tycoon

Community London count

Has Poncho ended?

Spoon the Tramp

Root beer float count

Zero in Huddersfield

Library outreach in SF

Tough times for charities

South Africa's World Cup poverty pretence

Post-Olympics Vancouver

Iceland accused of bleaching waste food

Tent Cities US - update

Street Shield 13: On the prowl


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