I am not a librarian. I don't even play one on TV.
I have worked in a homeless shelter most of my life, though.
I began volunteering at my local shelter—Hesed House—when I was thirteen years old.
I started working at that same shelter while in college, continuing through law school and graduate school. After taking the bar exam (successfully!), I transitioned from an intern to Executive Director.
Except for a stint in Washington D.C., I have worked at Hesed House ever since, watching it grow from “merely” the second largest homeless shelter in Illinois into one of the country’s first “comprehensive homeless resource centers.”
Over the last few decades, I have talked to thousands of homeless individuals and faced every situation you can imagine.
A little while ago, I started training libraries on how to work with challenging homeless patrons. That lead to a book deal with the American Library Association.
Now, I travel around the country doing trainings for:
Thank you for your service to your community and particularly to the homeless individuals in your community. If you have any feedback on how this training could be made better, please contact me below. I would love to hear from you!
Ryan J. Dowd, Atty., MPA
p.s. A little bit more about me: I'm married with two children and two dogs. My favorite book is Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac.