Homeless in New York

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

bedAlan Emmins offers a reflection on living homeless in New York, the subject of his recently released nonfiction book, Don’t Let the Bench Bugs Bite:

As is often the case, my most beautiful moment while living homeless in New York was born out of an ugly moment. I hadn’t seen it coming, and in some respects was unprepared for it. So far, nearly every homeless person I had met on the streets had been happy for me to spend time with them and document their lives. But in Preston, a black man in his early 60s who spent his days collecting cans, I found a lot of anger that, by all accounts, had no outlet.

I became that outlet.

We were standing in a subway car at the time. I had followed Preston as he worked his way down from the entrance to the 5 train at Union square, with…

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