The Girl's Guide to Homelessness is about a woman, Brianna Karp, who had a very abusive childhood. Karp finally got a job she loved and a home, but when the Great Recession hit, she lost everything and became homeless. When Karp found out that her father had passed away, she struggled to find a few, if any, good things about him. He would tell Karp that he hurt her because he loved her. Karp thought of her father as a "persistent, lingering stench you just can't get rid of no matter how hard you scrub"(Karp 22). Karp comparing her father to a bad smell that won't go away shows how awful of a father he must have been. I thought this comparison was very interesting and creative and it definitely caught my eye and made me reread the paragraph. Karp also addressed the stereotype that if homeless people have one or two expensive items in their possession, then they aren't really homeless. Karp clearly shut down the argument by stating that "nobody chooses to be homeless" (Karp 119). This eye-opening idea really helps one realize that one shouldn't assume that a homeless person doesn't really need money if they have a phone or a laptop. Especially "in today's society, a phone and internet access are no longer "luxury" items. They're practically necessities" (Karp 119). One shouldn't judge how anyone chooses to spend their money, so why would a homeless person be any different? A homeless person should be able to spend their money on whatever they consider to be the most important and necessary without receiving judgmental looks. Simply looking at someone does not provide enough evidence for one to know what someone is going through or how much money they have.
I came across a very interesting and motivating article ( https://news.usc.edu/124978/once-a-homeless-kid-then-in-foster-care-up-next-a-usc-doctoral-program/ ) that reminded me of a situation similar to Karp's. The article described a young man whose childhood consisted of living on the streets of Southern California, having parents with problems of substance abuse, and being put into foster care when his mom passed away. Despite all of these unfavorable events, Hamlin got involved in track and field in high school, greatly improved his grades, and got accepted into Cal Poly Pomona, planning on being a physical therapist; he is now a future USC Trojan. The undeniably unfortunate circumstances that Karp and Hamlin had in their lifetime are unimaginable to most Americans and address several serious issues in the United States, including homelessness, unemployment, and substance abuse. Karp's determination to start a blog to make people more aware of homelessness and break the stereotypes can be compared to Hamlin's determination to do well in school and not let his unfortunate childhood affect his bright future. Both of this situations make them great role models for anyone going through a similar situation. The blog and article are also increasing awareness of homelessness and hopefully breaking stereotypes.
Sidenote: The page citations might be off by a few pages due to the iBook version being a slightly different format compared to the hardcopy book.
Karp, Brianna. The Girl's Guide to Homelessness: a Memoir. Mira Books, 2012.
“Once a Homeless Kid, Then in Foster Care. Up next: a USC Doctoral Program.” USC News, news.usc.edu/124978/once-a-homeless-kid-then-in-foster-care-up-next-a-usc-doctoral-program/.