Slamming on Concrete is a moving collection of poems written by homeless youth in Chicago which gives voice to their struggles, hopes, dreams and experiences. Youth from H.E.L.L.O. (which stands for Homeless Experts Living Life’s Obstacles) performed with poetry and and African drum-circle at the 2011 Congress.
Since 2005, H.E.L.L.O. has been a place in Chicago for homeless youth to find their voice. The group gathers weekly at the Broadway Youth Center to write letters to legislators, to create art and poetry, and to share their experiences in a safe space.
The youth and young adults from H.E.L.L.O. work to educate the public, policymakers, and the media about issues affecting homeless and unaccompanied youth. They participate in a variety of activities, including poetry readings, press conferences, rallies, as well as staging an annual arts showcase.
This collection of poems is the first for the youth advocacy group and SCUPE’s very own Cynthia Milsap served as co-editor of the collection along with Rev. Tom Behrens, founder of the Night Ministry.
H.E.L.L.O. was founded by two formerly homeless young people who are now professionals and continue to work with the group. It is co-sponsored by the Night Ministry, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, and the Lakeview Action Coalition.
The book is available through Blurb.com and all proceeds go to the group.