The Street or Me: A New York Story follows author Judith Glynn as she puts her life and safety aside to rescue a street person, proving almost anyone can do it.
The Street or Me: A New York Story is a true story that follows an unusual street friendship between author Judith Glynn and Michelle Browning, a homeless drunk she meets in her neighborhood. Despite setbacks, Judith puts her life and safety aside to restore Michelle's dignity and return Michelle to her loving family in Italy.
Author Judith Glynn's true story, The Street or Me: A New York Story, proves an ordinary citizen can rescue a street person. Judith is divorced and struggles to support herself in her adopted city when she meets drunk and homeless Michelle Browning in her neighborhood. Previously a beauty queen in Italy, Michelle nears death after six years of street life. At first, Judith gives Michelle food and clothing; never money. Despite setbacks, an unusual street friendship develops that leads Judith to put her life and safety aside to restore Michelle's dignity and single-handedly return her to her loving family in Italy.
In general, homelessness is about statistics. Rarely does the subject combine the human element to convince an ordinary citizen to step up and rescue a street person – until now.
The Street or Me: A New York Story begins with a sidewalk hello between two diverse women in Hell's Kitchen, a sketchy Midtown Manhattan neighborhood. Michelle Browning is 33, a former Italian beauty queen, habitually drunk, homeless for six years and nears death. Author Judith Glynn is middle-aged, divorced with grown children and struggles to support herself in her adopted city. As Judith's friendship develops slowly with Michelle, she brings her food and clothing. She never gives her money or takes her to her home. Instead, Judith sets out single-handedly to restore Michelle's dignity and return her to her family in Italy, which she accomplishes.
Judith introduces her readers to the pack of homeless people she encounters as she helps Michelle. They experience first-hand the danger Judith encounters when she finds Michelle in an apartment occupied by a man wearing a Batman mask. At stake during their unusual friendship is whether Michelle's alcoholism will enslave her to a street life and a death in a gutter or will she follow Judith's lead back to sobriety.
Judith's inability to understand her fixation to rescue Michelle is ever-present. Is it worth the danger and futility she faces trying to rescue a street person or the sacrifice to involve her family with her homeless friend? One casualty is the severed relationship that occurs with her own mother because of Michelle. Prominent in this story is Judith's son, Dean Albanese. He comes to his mother's and Michelle's aid during Michelle's final street days in New York and accompanies the women on the flight to Italy. .
The Street or Me: A New York Story is available in paperback at Amazon and some bookstores. EBook formats available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes and Google Play.
Early praise and endorsements: "The desperation, anxiety and chaos of the streets are captured by Judith Glynn in this story of her electric and fraught relationship with a neighborhood homeless woman. As Ms. Glynn bridges that divide by extending her hand, tentatively at first, to Michelle, she depicts the trepidation, risk and ultimately deep connection forged between a middle-class professional woman and a homeless woman. She discovers in her quest for connection something secretly beautiful about our common humanity."
"When asked what is the best thing housed people can do for the homeless, many people without a home say 'Just look me in the eye, say hello, and treat me like a human being.' Judith Glynn followed this advice and the result is this inspiring book."
- Eric Hirsch, Professor of Sociology, Providence College
"An accurate description of the devastation which attends this killer disease. A remarkable love story. Best of all, a riveting read. I couldn't put it down."
Judith Glynn lives in New York City and Rhode Island. She has written freelance travel articles for a long time, now seen on the Web. Her first book, A Collector of Affections: Tales from a Woman's Heart is a novel that entwines romance with travelers' secrets when a middle-age woman meets a charming seatmate on a flight to Spain. www.judithglynn.com
5 Points of Interest about the Book’s Content or Story:
1. Michelle's homeless friend, Philip, collects$1,000 monthly from a bank account, the result of a workplace injury. She is a superb panhandler. Their money is spent on alcohol and food.
2. Michelle's name in Italy is Mireille Turoldo Her mother and five siblings are not aware she is homeless in New York City. She lies to them during phone calls and with letters. Michelle is married to Steve Browning, also homeless He dies on the street at 35.
2. ABC's 20/20 and their news journalist, Stone Phillips, films a segment about Judith and Michelle that is to show her departure from NYC streets and family reunion in Italy. The segment is cancelled due to a producer's interference with the storyline.
3. When Judith returns Michelle to her family in Italy, Judith's relationship severs with her own mother. She accuses Judith of only helping Michelle to write a story, and Judith's morals are as bad as Michelle's.
4. After Michelle spends several years in Italy recovering from her addictions, she returns to the States and marries a U.S. serviceman, which ends in divorce and her return to Italy