Pat Morgan’s work for the homeless has been honored by
President Bill Clinton, Governor Andrew Cuomo,
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,
and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Have the Mentally Ill Homeless Become Collateral Damage?
Really? Yes, according to author and expert on homelessness Pat Morgan. We Hardly Knew Them reveals the horrendous plight of homeless, mentally ill people, the cause and the reality of the criminalization of mental illness and homelessness, and the decades-old, discriminatory legislation that resulted in thousands and thousands of untreated, severely mentally ill people who become collateral damage.
You will meet Gloria, who was shot by her husband and watched him murder their daughter. She carried the secret for 25 years until Pat asked, What happened why are you out here? No one had thought to ask.
You will meet Nubs, who lived in squalor on the streets for 20 years and was jailed 147 times, usually for lying down in the middle of the street during rush hour. Finally, he got the long-term inpatient mental health treatment he desperately needed.
You will meet Frederick, who believed he was being infused by the fluids of Lionel Ritchie. Never considered a danger to himself, he was kicked to death during the night sleeping behind the Dollar Store.
You will meet William, who was never placed in a mental health treatment program. Prison was a revolving door most of his life coupled with an alphabet soup of mental illness diagnoses. We Hardly Knew Them will reveal the usually futile efforts to help homeless, mentally ill people access the services and inpatient treatment they need to break the cycle of streets, shelters and jails. And, you will discover the right to treatment and the silver bullet that could begin to reverse, over time, the current system and change it.
With her gift of story-telling, deep sense of compassion, and rich Southern sense of humor,
Pat takes you on a ride … a kaleidoscope of adventures that few ever experience.
The author takes the reader inside the hearts and minds of homeless people,
on an unexpected journey to the gritty streets of Memphis and to the often ignored –
yet ever present world of homeless people.
The Concrete Killing Fields makes clear that “there’s a person under there.”
Pat found her calling in the basement of the Calvary Episcopal Church in Memphis, Tennessee where she discovered the “invisible people”—the homeless people who’d soon steal her heart and, all-too-often, break it. She didn’t set out to become an authority on homelessness; she hadn’t planned to work in Washington DC; and she most assuredly hadn’t planned on finding the healing she didn’t know she needed.
This book takes you from the concrete killing fields of Memphis to the snowy streets of New Hampshire, to the nation’s capital, and even to the President’s box at the Kennedy Center. Your eyes and your heart will be opened and you may discover that it is never too late to live out your dreams.
As a political insider, policy wonk, analyst, and activist, Pat had a front row seat as the Clinton Administration revolutionized the federal government’s response to homelessness. She learned how the federal government works to help homeless people—and how it too often doesn’t.
But she never lets the people she meets along the way—or the reader—forget why she’s there. Get ready for an intense insight into a lifetime of stories—of people you will get to know and stories about those who are invisible—all waiting to be told.
“Readers, be warned! Pat’s ‘must tell’ testament is compelling and contagious, relentless and raw, inspired and inspiring! Read and digest The Concrete Killing Fields. You will not remain the same.” The Reverend Dr. Douglass M. Bailey, former rector of Calvary Episcopal Church (Memphis), President and founder, Center for Urban Ministry, Inc., Winston-Salem, North Carolina