Giving voice to the homeless

Retired teacher John Loss has penned a book humanizing the plight of the marginalized, ". . . Not Always Homeless." He tells the personal stories of people he's met through volunteer work who have struggled.

NIAGARA FALLS — Without taking the time to listen, and be compassionate, it is hard to know the real plight of the people on the margins of society, struggling with life, mental health, sometimes drugs or alcohol or just plain bad luck.

Knowing those people intimately through volunteer work led a retired Lewiston-Porter teacher John Loss to write a book “... Not Always Homeless,” giving a voice to 13 such individuals from Niagara Falls.

Each chapter features a profile of resources, both public and private as will as a portrait of an individual explaining how they got there, and an inspirational Bible verse.

One character is a woman named Debbie Miller, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse that haunted her into adulthood and left her unable to function or have a stable relationship.

Another character profiled is Mac, a hard-working simple man, certainly a little slow but generally harmless.

Every character in the book has a story told through their voice to Loss.

“I believe what I wrote was the honest things from these people,” the author said.

The trouble for Loss over the past year is that though the book was completed, COVID-19 restrictions have led him to lose touch with many of his subjects.

He’s been trying to track down each and deliver them a signed copy of the book but by their nature, the subjects are transient.

The book is $12.95 available on Amazon, directly from Loss at (716)-773-9781 or at Beacon Christian Book Store, 2480 Military Road, Ste. 100, Niagara Falls.

It is being sold as a fundraiser for Help and Hope for the Homeless Inc.

Loss said he is willing to speak to church groups, schools or any organization who would like to hear his message of compassion, acceptance and his experience writing the book.

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