A Lending Library for Homeless People

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June 30, 2011; Source: Oregonian | Here’s a good news story that speaks to the heart of why we love nonprofits as a vehicle for creative, hands-on community improvement. Streetbooks is a tiny grassroots nonprofit based in Portland, Ore., with a mission to provide “a bicycle powered mobile library for people who live outside.” With over 30 donors and supporters, 40 books (so far), and two volunteer librarians riding a specially outfitted bicycle, this grown up version of the old school bookmobile has been well received. 

The Streetbook website includes a list of specific patron requests, as well as voluntary photos and book reviews from customers. In his video book review, one man speaks of the transformative power of a good story. “Seabiscuit . . . It’s about a horse that had been judged by the way it looked. They didn’t recognize the heart that the horse had. But there was a man who saw some capabilities from that horse . . . a light.”

Started by local artist Laura Moulton in June, 2011, Streetbook  is open twice a week for three hours each time in two different outdoor locations this summer. Good news, indeed.—Kathi Jaworski

  • Howard Freeman

    Great service, bringing these people benefits that the rest of us enjoy simply because we can store our possessions somewhere else.

  • LisaW

    What a great positive story! I love this idea and hope it catches on in other cities! It would be great to have children’s books too for homeless families. Well done!