In a metropolis like New York, homelessness can blend into the urban landscape. But in Sacred Shelter, New York is the place where a community of resilient, remarkable individuals are yearning for a voice.

Through frank, honest interviews, editor Susan Celia Greenfield follows the lives of thirteen people who experienced homelessness and graduated from an interfaith life skills empowerment program. They share traumas from their youth, the devastation of homelessness, and the healing they discovered through community and faith.

Interspersed among their stories are reflections from directors, clerics, and volunteers involved in the life skills empowerment program. By listening to their stories, we are urged to confront our own woundedness and uncover our desire for human connection, a sacred shelter on the other side of suffering.

“It is rare that one book provides a gripping, honest, unapologetic look at the lives and perspectives of individuals experiencing homelessness.” 

— Afua Atta-Mensah, Esq., Executive Director, Community Voices Heard

“These painful, honest, and ultimately hopeful stories inspire the reader to greater empathy and commitment.”

— Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Executive Director, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

“Susan Greenfield has compiled stories and reflections that inspire, uplift, and challenge.”

— Brian Purnell, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History, Bowdoin College

“Homelessness is not hopelessness—at least not for the 13 individuals whose stories are told in Sacred Shelter.” 

— Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York

Selected Press

“If the holiday cards aren’t uplifting enough, then read Sacred Shelter: Thirteen Journeys of Homelessness and Healing, edited by Susan Celia Greenfield. They’re reminders that individuals can make a difference.”

The New York Times

“A new book, created with the stories of 13 people who were once homeless, aims to bring those stories more into the category of us.”

The Brian Lehrer Show, featuring James Addison, Dennis Barton, and Susan Celia Greenfield.

“The stories chronicle people who have been through an amazing amount of adversity.”

NY1, in an interview with Dennis Barton, Susan Celia Greenfield, and Michelle Riddle.

Susan Celia Greenfield was interviewed by WBAI’s David Rothenberg (beginning at 1:00:00).

“In a city as big as New York, homeless people can easily fade to the background and be pushed to the sidelines. A few have learned to share their experience and help other’s heal. That’s what inspired the new book “Sacred Shelter: Thirteen Journeys of Homelessness and Healing,” which follows the lives of formerly homeless New Yorkers.”

— Fordham Conversations, Parts 1 & 2

“Describing their life experiences in raw and vivid detail, each storyteller talks about their journey to homelessness and how they healed with the help of faith and community.”

Fordham News

“Through faith, transformation and spiritual growth, more than 600 homeless people in New York have been propelled to a better life in recent decades thanks to the Education Outreach Program sponsored by archdiocesan Catholic Charities. Many of their stories are told in an inspiring new book called Sacred Shelter.”

Catholic New York