I received this book for free from the author in exchange for my honest opinions/ review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Under the Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America by Mike Yankoski
Published by Multnomah Books on March 31st 2005
Genres: christian, memoir
Source: the author
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5th Anniversary - Updated & Expanded EditionWith foreword by Francis Chan
Ever Wonder What it Would Be Like to Live Homeless?Mike Yankoski did more than just wonder. By his own choice, Mike's life went from upper-middle class plush to scum-of-the-earth repulsive overnight. With only a backpack, a sleeping bag and a guitar, Mike and his traveling companion, Sam, set out to experience life on the streets in six different cities—from Washington D.C. to San Diego— and they put themselves to the test. For more than five months the pair experienced firsthand the extreme pains of hunger, the constant uncertainty and danger of living on the streets, exhaustion, depression, and social rejection—and all of this by their own choice. They wanted to find out if their faith was real, if they could actually be the Christians they said they were apart from the comforts they’d always known…to discover first hand what it means to be homeless in America. Mike and Sam's story is gritty, challenging, and utterly captivating. What you encounter in these pages will radically alter how you see your world—and may even change your life.
I was very excited to have the opportunity to read & review this book. Being a knitter & crocheter, I often make blankets for charity – usually for people in nursing homes, or pets in animal shelters. Last fall I made about 30 hats & a few scarves for a group collecting woolies for homeless vets. Ever since then, I’ve been thinking about doing more for the homeless. Sure, I have made hats in the past for them, but certainly not like I do the lapghans. I wasn’t really sure what to expect about this book, but I was definitely interested from the get go.
This book was not one of those books where you sit down & devour over the course of one long afternoon. I read the book daily, usually a few minutes here & there and longer periods maybe once a week. I read it in small portions, so that I could really think about what Yankoski was writing about. The faster I read a book, the less I actually “think” about it, and I knew that I wanted to get “something” out of Under The Overpass.
Was I moved reading this book? Definitely. This is an experience few would volunteer to undertake, and I think Mike & his friend Sam were lucky to survive as well as they did. Sure, they met interesting characters, and this experience changed their life forever. Did it change my life? Well… for the moment, anyway. One of my New Year’s goals was to make 24 hats for the homeless. Sure, that’s not a lot… but that’s 24 warmer bodies if I succeed. If I had more money, more time, would I want to do more? Sure, you bet. Will I end up volunteering at a homeless shelter, or a food kitchen? I’d love to say yes, because the book did move me that much, and I did learn a lot, but no, I probably won’t end up doing those things.
This is not an easy book to read, but it is a book you should read.