Contact & Comments

From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it.
Groucho Marx

Yes, I am a real person and one who does read comments and e-mails (and even “real”-mail on paper!). So if there is something you would like to say to me, you are more than welcome to send a message directly to me via the form on the “sub-page” here. Your message will be forwarded to me as soon as it posts, so you don’t have to wonder if I’ll ever see it. (I’m a writer… we LIVE at the e-mail page these days!) and it won’t appear on the site.

Or, if you prefer, you can post a comment right here on this page and have it open for others to read and comment and communicate with you as well! * I’ve set this up so that you don’t have to leave any personal information if you choose not to. I’m rather particular about what information gets tossed about the “ether” (that is, on the Internet) so I respect every-one else’s right to their own privacy. So type away! *

And “thank you”… Sincerely… thank you.

16 thoughts on “Contact & Comments”

  1. Gerald Fieldston said:

    Finished reading Journal Days. It was a roller coaster of emotions. Unexpected in a lot of ways. But I don’t suppose the homeless issue can be made romantic. Over all it was educational and I hope a lot of people are helping themselves by reading it. These days where we really can’t be too sure of our finances and politics your journal comes in very handy. Nobody can be positive that it won’t happen to them. Reading your book has made me more aware of my own shortages. And I look at the homeless people from a whole new and better point of view now. I never would have imagined that any of them do have jobs and like you pay taxes like the rest of us. It must have been frustrating for you and it must be very hard on them to work and contribute and have to go through that hell. It was really interesting to read what happened to you on the day that Obama was elected too. Your story is part of American history now.

    Have to admit that at first I thought it was going to be a dark sort of story and at times it really is. But it’s more like a march through hell to get to heaven. A tragic story with a beautiful ending to inspire us all.

    I’m glad to learn that your sales go back to the homeless too. I don’t like donating to charities anymore because of all the waste I read about. I look at buying the book as making my contribution to a worthy cause and getting a gift in return. I have a book and a survival guide. It can’t get much better than that.

    Good luck to you from now on and thank you for making the story available to us all. I’m sure the guys you wrote it for should be very happy and thankful to you too. I keep you and them in my prayers. I hope you’re doing well these days.

    Best regards.

    Gerald Fieldston

  2. Tom Kearny said:

    Mr. Kessler I just finished reading your Journal Days. Stunning, striking, insightful, a true learning experience. It’s been a real source of a lot of deep conversation on the subject of homelessness and homeless people and working homeless is now a common term in discussions. Your book is an invaluable resource and I wonder if you’ve ever made personal presentations on the matter of the homeless. The book is so educational for all ages. Adults need to know what we might confront if we ever find ourselves in your position and children should know what their own futures might hold for them. Homelessness isn’t just a financial issue, as so many have learned in times of hurricanes and tornadoes and it really doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with responsibility. Nature can take a home and a life. People need to know what you experienced. Thank you for writing and sharing your experience. You are in the thoughts and prayers of many.

    • Mr. Kearny:
      Please forgive me for being so late in replying to your kind and wonderful comments and review. (I’m working on the follow-up these days along with “Life” in general and don’t get to spend as much time on-line as I might like to.) But I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the fact that you’ve read the book and taken the time to post here. Thank you, in all sincerity, thank you.
      No, I haven’t made any “appearances” nor speeches and presentations on the matter but if the opportunity presented, I’d be more than happy to do so.
      Yes, indeed, these days of floods and fires, none of us knows for certain if or when Homelessness might strike. Sadly, most people are under the impression that it’s only a matter of financial irresponsibility that causes Homelessness, never taking into consideration the other unforeseen events that can essentially and effectively snatch a house/home from any of us.
      But as I say always: to me, the most important matter here is that I promised my fellow “shelter-mates” that I would make “our” saga available to the general public, and that promise has been kept. I do wish more people would be concerned, but it’s a comfort, to me and to them, to know that those who do read and learn will discuss the matter, and with each discussion, “our” story reaches another ear.. and hopefully, another heart.
      Thank you, again and again, for your supportive words and the time you’ve taken to post.
      JAK

  3. Judah,
    I have been meaning to write and tell you that I have started reading your book—it is riveting,upsetting,funny and inspiring, all at the same time.
    I am so glad that you wrote it and hope it gets wide distribution.
    You are a such strong person, to have gone through everything and survived!
    I am at page 187, still at Bellevue, but making progress towards getting a job.(The whites scrubs!)
    Since I read the book on my Nook,I can’t get the sketches and paintings—I will need to look at them on my computer.
    Best,
    Pam

    • Dear Pam,
      I feel at a loss… I can’t thank you enough for your kind words. Not only are they a compliment but they’re so encouraging and supportive. Please know that they’re appreciated very, very deeply. And your descriptions: “riveting, upsetting, funny and inspiring” cover all that I could have hoped for. “Journal Days” was intended to be just those things. “Riveting” to hold attention; “upsetting” because Homelessness in this country in this time is so very un-necessary; “funny” yes because Life is funny some-times and we all need to take the opportunity to recognise and enjoy that little fact. But “inspiring” is indeed the highest compliment… hopefully it WILL inspire more people to do more for one-another and each-other and accept the plain fact that we are really all that we have… each-other.
      Thanks for the personal compliment. “Strong person” and “to have gone through everything and survived”. Yes, perhaps… but look at the results… I’ve come to meet you and others like you and although at that point the world and life seemed quite bleak, there you are and here we are… and the story, the truth of not only me but of SO many others is being told… as it is.
      Thank you again Pam. Thank you sincerely.
      JAK

  4. Journal Days offers up a personal and provacative and sometimes painful and heartbreaking insight into the daily grind, and that’s putting it lightly to say the least, of homelessness and more specific of the working homeless; the realities homeless people see and experience, as well as the multifaceted challenges they face given any minute of their day. It is through reads such as this, that trustingly, insight can be brought forward to establish a working agenda and platform to address homelessness, but more importantly to put into place a ‘Homeless Bill of Rights.’ Homelessness knows not sex, race, creed, nationality, time, place or circumstance. People are usually unwilling to lend a helping hand to the homeless, whether it be through a direct encounter or via organizations, believing all along that these people are simply worthless, even publicly expressing contempt and hatred. People are also not willing to appropriate or legislate proposals involving tax dollars towards a situational that they deem or view as impossible to rectify.

    I came across this in an article on homelessness and am going to place an excerpt from it here. “The genius of any slave system is found in the dynamics which isolate slaves from each other, obscure the reality of common condition, and make united rebellion against the oppressor inconceivable.” – Andrea Dworkin. “I believe that isolating and excluding the issues of equal rights of the homeless from these issues of equal rights among races and sexes of people, does just that; obscure the reality of this common condition among these, in turn suppressing the needed changes of them all . . . By ignoring one, . . . is to ignore them all. We can not be selective, . . . only if they fit a particular social and economic status.” – Sonny Iverson.

    Journal Days serves both as a worthwhile read as well as a much needed reminder for all of us, in and of society today, that it exists within everyone of us, to both take and make the time and moment and be human and respect another human being.

    In closing, a quote from a homeless man; “I am not a bum, I am a human being.”

    Thank you and bless you Judah for shedding light and bringing this issue forward.

    • Mr. Kirkman, I have to say, up front, that your comment/review of “Journal Days” brings tears of comfort and appreciation. Words alone can’t express my gratitude not only for your words and for the time you took to post them, but for your compassion. As you’ve eluded, “Homelessness” is, as I’ve called it many times, not merely a state of being, but it’s an “industry”, large and lucrative for a great many who view “Homeless people” as little more than a commodity, a source of revenue. From those who are employed in and by the industry to those who ensure its continuation, there are VAST amounts of cash involved, and those in the positions of greatest or highest “authority” will do all they possibly can to guarantee that this “industry” never ceases. I will grant you that there are many kind hearts and souls who believe that they can and will reach out with compassion to those who go to them believing that there is help “out”. And surely, at the end of the book, I’ve made sure that those whom I met were thanked for all they had done for me… and for many others. But those with the desire to reach a helping hand up and out are rare. And they battle against those whose efforts are against them.

      In 1981, in NYC, the Supreme Court of the State of New York recognised and passed what is known as:
      The Callahan Consent Decree which provides much more for the Homeless in NYC than in ANY other city, town, village or place any-were else in the world. Although accommodations in most shelters aren’t what one might even vaguely consider “luxury”, in comparison to any other place, indeed, they most certainly are. NYC, in spite of its legislative biases against the Homeless, and particularly of the past Mayoral atrocities meted out against NYC Homeless people, is, by far, the most over-whelmed and yet, in many instances, the most compassionate. (I included the text of the Decree at the end of the book. But for other readers here, it can be read, thanks to the NYC Coalition for the Homeless, with-out whom the Homeless would most certainly suffer horribly:
      http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/CallahanConsentDecree.pdf
      But certainly tantamount to all else, I can’t sufficiently express my deepest and most sincere gratitude to you not only for taking the time to post your words here, but for the magnificent compassion and insight they portray. I so wish I could track down the guys mentioned in the book and let them see that their story isn’t only being told (as I’d promised), but that there truly are human beings in this world who not only care to read their story, but actually care about them.
      Thank you… so very sincerely… Thank you.
      JAK

      • David Kirkman said:

        Sie herzlich willkommen, und obwohl geschätzt wird, zu freundlich, aber ich verstehe

  5. Michael D. said:

    Mr. Kessler, just about finished through the book Journal Days here and want to congratulate you on a job very well written. At times I felt like it was a bit harsh but then as I read along I came to understand that this isn’t a matter that can be made light of even though at some points you managed to. You put people into the word homeless that too many of us use very negatively and I believe that if more would read this there would be alot more compassion and better understanding for those who just hit a hard time in life. Journal Days really isn’t only about the homeless it’s about all of us every day of our own lives. How we see each day and what we do with it. I guess I’m inspired. I hope the book has much success. Your guys there should be very proud of you and thankful because you made that promise and yes sir you kept it. Best of luck to you Mr. Kessler
    Mike

    • Mike, thank you so very much for taking the time to post your thoughts. Reactions and impressions are so important, not just to me, but to and for all the people about and for whom this book was published. And you’re so very right: there really is no way to make it “pretty” or palatable. I tried to “clean” the original journal a bit, just to make it “presentable”. I’m sure that many would be offended by some of what’s written, but Homelessness in this, the 21st century, is an offence, in my own opinion, against society in general. But I’m truly glad that it “inspired” you some-how. As I say, very often: sometimes the kindest gesture anybody can make toward some-one who is Homeless is simply to say “Hello” and perhaps chat with them. Just taking the time to acknowledge that they’re as human as each and every one of us is.
      Your words are encouraging and very kind, and truly ever so appreciated. Thank you, Mike. Thank you.
      JAK

  6. Isaac R. said:

    I just finished reading Journal Days and all I would like to say is that you are a kind man. I pray that you will be protected from that ever happening again. Thank you for writing the story for all of us to see and know. How proud your fellow residents must be to have met you.

    • Isaac, thank you so very much for your kindest words. Homeless can strike any-one, for a multitude of reasons: financial, and so-called “Acts of God”. Flood, fire, hurricanes… as well as income. As for my “fellow residents”, well, as you see, I met the “Best” of humanity and probably the worst. But the one underlying fact remains: Each and every one of us is a human being… and in all too many instances… many were simply abandoned. Not unlike a pet dog, put in a “shelter”.

      This book has brought me so many wonderful experiences. I’ve learnt that there truly are some wonderfully warm and loving hearts still beating in this old world. And that is the most magnificent gift. Your comment here proves that to be true.

      Many best wishes to you and those you hold dear, through these holidays… and all the days to come.

      Thank you for reading… for responding… for your compassion.
      JAK

  7. Hello. I just heard that you have another book coming out. I read Bittersweet and like it very much and used it as reference in some of my classes. Is it true you’re putting another book out? Can you tell any details about it if you are? Thanks.
    Kris

    • Hello to you Kris and thank you SO much for posting here!
      Your timing couldn’t be better because I JUST finished posting to the “blog” page, the news of the next book to be coming out. I’m really happy to say that the new one is now 45% through the first edit. Unlike the previous book on “Working Homeless”, this one will be factual, certainly Non-Fiction, much more readable AND will include some images to places and things mentioned!
      It’s also going to be offered as a “PDF” version so that anybody with a computer will be able to read it! Even people with those “smart phones” will be able to enjoy a copy.
      All I’ll say right now is that it’s still on the subject of “Working Homeless” but it’s no-were near as “raw” (as one reviewer said about the previous work) but it DOES include much more detail and facts so it’s readable to a broader audience, including “young adults”.
      I’ll be posting more information here, on the “blog” page and on my Facebook page. But check the “blog” here first.
      THANK YOU for reading “Bitter-sweet Bitterness”. I hope it helped you in your endeavours and hopefully this next work will help you even more.
      Thank you… sincerely… thank you.
      JAK

  8. I read the book and cried. It was shocking yeah. But true and truth is shocking sometimes. Keep your spirits up. Congratulations on getting yourself out. We can only depend on self. Looking for the followup and what you’re doing now.

    • Thank you for your kind words and review Sean. Messages like yours DO keep my spirits up and encourage me on with the next book coming out soon. It’s “abridged”, more details and explanations, and will be illustrated, More “feeling”. Better format for more people to be able to read it with-out accounts and Kindles and such. The important issue is to bring the “secrets” out to as many people as is possible and stop the stereo-typing.

      The first announcement of the new book will be here, on this blog, followed by other social media. If you’d like an “advanced” notice, feel free to send me your e-mail address from the “Direct Contact” form. It doesn’t post to the blog here and comes directly to my e-mail.

      There’s a book in the works too about the follow-up you mention. That’ll be out after the Homeless volume. Thanks so much for your encouragement and for taking the time to post. I DO appreciate it.

      Don’t cry. There are MANY Homeless who experience the same things, especially the betrayal of so-called “friends” and “family” and they go on to much better things and lives. I’ve met some, I remember some too, they were with me.

      Always remember: When you pray to “God”, look IN not OUT!
      JAK

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