County-wide book club to discuss homelessness

I usually try to discourage wholesale posting of press releases - as I'm about to do - but this just sounds like a great idea and I don't have anything to add to it.

Orange County’s Partnership to End Homelessness would like to invite the public to participate in a “Community Read” of the book The Soloist by Steve Lopez.  The event is the first in a series of community education activities that will explore the issues of homelessness.

The Soloist is the true story of the friendship between Steve Lopez, a Los Angeles reporter, and Nathaniel Ayers, a gifted musician and mentally ill homeless man.  The book was made into a movie that is currently showing in theaters starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.

Community Read participants will read the book over the summer and have the opportunity to post comments to our blog,, where we will pose questions and issues for discussion.

In September, discussion groups will be held around the County so that participants can meet in person to share their thoughts about the book.  These groups will be hosted by various “Community Partners” and will be facilitated by mental health care and homelessness professionals.  We hope to have a diverse group of Community Read participants including people who have experienced homelessness.

Books will be available to borrow at Orange County, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro public libraries and to purchase at local bookstores.  Watch our blog for other locations to borrow free copies.

In addition to learning about the issues of homelessness and mental illness, the discussion groups will be an opportunity for the community to learn about how they can become involved in helping to end homelessness.
If you would like to host a discussion group or are interested in joining the Community Read, please contact Jamie Rohe, Orange County Homelessness Program Coordinator,  To learn more about the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness and the Community Read, go to our website:




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