As a child David Ambroz was raised homeless in New York City, the home of Wall Street and more than 100,000 homeless children.
For David and his two siblings, their mother’s diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia sets them in motion for a life of poverty, violence and instability as they travel across New York and New England seeking shelter. For eleven years home for David means living in train stations, subway cars, 24-hour diners, and wherever is safe and warm; bathing in public restrooms; and stealing food to quell his hunger. When he gets into foster care, it feels like salvation, but it soon proves to be just as unsafe for young people—more of his foster siblings are put on a prison pipeline than college-bound. Surmounting violence, continued poverty and physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his caregivers, David harnesses an inner grit to escape the inevitable outcome for kids like him. He takes shelter and finds hope on his own in libraries, schools, and in the occasional adult angel. Through hard work and unwavering resolve, he is able to get into Vassar College, the first significant step out from the yolk of poverty, and later graduates UCLA School of Law. This heart-wrenching and inspiring story about young people pulls back the curtain on homelessness and poverty in the lives of children and shines a pivotal light on generations of kids that have been systematically ignored and overlooked. A Place Called Home is both David’s powerful personal account through the lens of a child surviving it daily. And as the go-to child welfare advocate for the Obama administration and major U.S. companies, A Place Called Home is a beckoning call to our national conscience to move from pity to action.
Get recommended reads, deals, and more from Hachette