The Five Old Guys are all dead now, as are most of the once homeless people in this book, but the long sad line, coming up behind them, hosts several million more of our neighbors, all so poor they cannot afford to go to that place we all go when the darkness comes-a home.
These are stories about a few of the thousands of homeless folks who found their way to the campus of the York County Shelter Programs, in an unlikely corner of New England during the end of the twentieth century, but forecast by Robert Frost earlier in the century:
Home, he mocked gently.
Yes, what else but home?
It all depends on what you mean by home.
Of course he's nothing to us any more
Than was the hound that came a stranger to us
Out of the woods, worn out upon the trail'
Home is the place where, when you go there,
They have to take you in.
They are all real people with mothers and fathers, warts and halos, and not one of them ever dreamed that what they would become when they grew up-was homeless.