You are reading

Local Author’s Talk Will Share Stories and Solutions on Homelessness

March 15, 2018 By Staff Report

Update 3/22 4:10 p.m. – The Project For Living Artists announced that the date of the event has changed to Wednesday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m.

The author of a comprehensive book about homelessness, its causes, myths and potential solutions, will discuss her work at an author talk in Woodside.

Crystal Wolfe is the author of “Our Invisible Neighbors: Accounts, Causes, and Solutions to the Epidemic of Homelessness in the 21st Century.” The author talk and book signing will take place on Wednesday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Project for Living Artists located at 38-02 61st Street, hosted by the Project Life Center.

“Our Invisible Neighbors” puts a human face to the homelessness epidemic, through interviews with many different people experiencing homelessness, from Queens to the Dominican Republic.

“I just felt that the heart of it was to tell their stories, and to show that each of them is an individual who became homeless for different reasons,” Wolfe said. “But nobody deserves to be homeless.”

It’s a personal issue for Wolfe, who included her own stories of poverty, domestic violence and homelessness in the book. She is also the founder of Catering for the Homeless, which connects caterers and restaurants with organizations that can distribute their excess food to the homeless.

Along with the personal accounts, “Our Invisible Neighbors” explores the many, often interconnected causes of homelessness. This involved research into everything from domestic violence, child abuse, poverty, and access to education or healthcare, according to Wolfe.

“What I’ve been through has made me a really compassionate person, so I have a heart for people, especially the abused and homeless, and so it’s really important for me to tell their stories,” she said. “One of the myths is that homelessness is a choice, and it’s so shocking to me to hear people say that.”

Crystal Wolfe addressing Queens Community Board 5

Wolfe also focuses on potential solutions to homelessness in the book. She said she spent a lot of time researching local efforts in Queens, from the community board level to legislation. She also studied homelesnessness nationally and internationally, to find how other states and countries reduced homelessness. She cited affordable housing and laws regarding domestic abuse as particularly relevant, noting that domestic violence is the number one cause of homelessness in New York City.

She also includes a chapter on ways that individuals can help the homeless, such as providing business cards and creating resumes for job seekers, raising awareness on social media, or simply speaking respectfully with people who are homeless in their neighborhood.

“I’m an idealistic person,” she said. “But if idealism doesn’t have a practical use, it’s as unproductive as cynicism.”

Wolfe said she hopes that people walk away from this month’s event with more knowledge on homelessness and are inspired to become a part of the solution.

“What I really would like is for people to at least begin to open their minds and hearts to the truth and the myths of homelessness,” she said.

The event will be free to attend, and copies of “Our Invisible Neighbors” will be availble for purchase. Interested parties can RSVP on Facebook by clicking here.

Following this month’s event, Wolfe also plans to host a reading at the Sunnyside branch of the Queens Library on Saturday, April 7 at 3:00 p.m. and at the Middle Village branch on Saturday, April 21 at 2:30 p.m.

Those who are interested in learning more about Catering For the Homeless, can e-mail [email protected].

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

We should hear what this lady has to say and bring up all these points. By this point, the term “shelters” has become hopelessly negative . Probably always will be. NYC needs more low income housing for people to get into…But how? The housing projects administration that we DO have- NYCHA- is already broke..with years’ long waiting list.


This is the same lady that said it’s been proven that homeless shelters improve real estate prices from a study she read that took place in Philadelphia – this was at the Real Estate Meeting at Queen of Angels in the fall. She should go live in a shelter try out her new neighbors, get up close, leave her laptop unattended in the lobby of the homeless hotel see what happens.

This is why so many of the old timers in the area are selling their homes to Chinese and Indian investors who then rent and multiple families/illegal boarding room conversions taking place in private houses, which become rodent and roach infested and eventually leads to the further degradation of our neighborhood. If I was a greedy bastard I could probably lease my home to DHS at an inflated price and ride the wave to prosperity, they can stick a drug addicted lowlife family and I can screw over my neighbors like the DiBlasio administration has screwed over the residents of Blissville in LIC.

Carbie Barbie

Cue the caterwauling about homeless people destroying our shining city in 3… 2… 1…


I’m told that ms Barbie personally puts people up in her mansion and puts chocolates on their pillow in the morning

Carbie Barbie

The chocolates are only for the homeless children. Everyone else gets a peppermint candy.

For some perspective: “• Research shows that the primary cause of homelessness, particularly among families, is lack
of affordable housing. Surveys of homeless families have identified the following major
immediate, triggering causes of homelessness: eviction; doubled-up or severely overcrowded
housing; domestic violence; job loss; and hazardous housing conditions. [4] [5] [6]”


does she live in nyc and what exactly does she know — blame the mayor for making this a whole big diaster — and tells everyone to come to NYC – what does the DR have to do with NYC?


Anonymous- I’m not a fan of the mayor or his policies but know enough on the topic of homelessness in NYC that the root of the homeless problem lies with Callahan v. Carey and the Legal Right to Shelter legal case.


What we need is a legal right to commit the mentally ill before they become school shooters.

cue the ACLU


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News