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Why do homeless people need their own library?

On September 18th, Picture the Homeless will celebrate the grand opening of the Jean Rice Homeless Liberation Reference Library. Tickets are on sale here. Conceptualized, curated, and run by homeless New Yorkers, where people experiencing homelessness can educate themselves and others, this library will provide homeless New Yorkers with the tools to change their lives, and to change the world.
 
But why do homeless people need their own library? Why is it important that Picture the Homeless members have access to this kind of resource?
 
We asked our members why this was important to them. Here are some of the things they had to say...
 
  • So new members can educate themselves with positive books. - Salaam Ellis
  • To educate people, and to give them a way to do research - Justin
  • Because both the homeless population and the incarcerated population are disproportionately victims of "inadequate education," i.e. the lack of basic reading and writing skills. - Jean Rice
  • To find out various things and bring information back to your community. - anon
  • To do our very important research. - Rachel
  • To become more informed. - GKM.
  • Reading is fundamental. Having access to books of interest makes for willing reading. - Donald.
  • Because it could be used as a legal library as refards to housing, and of civil rights. This way when you are faced with legal technicalities  you could refer to the library for information on these topics.  - Dwayne
  • So we can all be educated on the work we do. - Andres Perez Jr
  • Because knowledge makes an individual unfit for slavery. - Carlos R.
  • So we could learn more about civil rights law. - Pete C
  • Because knowledge is power!!! - Dave Subren
  • It's been running since MCMXCIX and numerous events occurred. - Mr. X