Danielle Steel: A Good Read—and a Great Woman

danielle-steel.jpgFor a couple of decades now, bestselling author Danielle Steel has been churning out passion-filled sagas of the rich and famous. Turns out she is also a passionate advocate of the homeless.

In a Newsweek essay, Steel writes nakedly and poignantly about the suicide ten years ago of her nineteen-year-old son, Nick, who suffered with bipolar disorder and depression, and how this opened her eyes to the plight of others with mental illnesses.

Most who, because of the vast holes in our country’s medical safety net, reside on our streets: homeless, and too mentally incapacitated to care for themselves.

Or, as Steel writes: “The most functional homeless people find their way to programs and shelters. But it is those at the bottom of that spectrum who worry me the most, those who are too desperate and disoriented, or too ill physically and emotionally to come in for help…”

Moved to action, Steel formed Yo, Angel, an 11-person organization that seeks out the homeless and provides them with essentials. Thus far, they’ve helped over 30,000 individuals: an average of 300 each night. “We find them in doorways, cardboard boxes, dumpsters, and along the railroad tracks where they sleep. There are absurd dichotomies in the homeless world—you have to arrive promptly at a homeless shelter to get in, and people who exhibit ‘bizarre behavior’ are not allowed. Once in the shelter, someone who stays there runs the risk of being mugged, robbed, raped and exposed to rampant contagious diseases. Many homeless people are afraid of the very real dangers in the shelters, and prefer to take their chances on the streets. These are the clients my group has served…We drive around late into the night, with four vanloads of supplies, looking for ‘clients.’..”

But even millionaires like Steel can’t do it all. “Recently our costs have become prohibitive, and we are seeking new sources for our supplies.”

To lend your support contact Steel via her publisher, Random House.

Speaking of depression, don’t miss Tracy Morris’s article, here in SingleMindedWomen.com, on antidepressants.

And if the cost of healthcare is depressing you, check out Martin Brown’s article “Household Incomes, and Health Outcomes“.

One way to ensure better health is to stay healthy. How does your weight affect your attitude? You’ll find out if when you read my article in SMW Relationships: “Do Men Hate Fat Women?

Of course, some of us need motivation to keep fit. If you recognize yourself in that statement, check out this SMW Health article, “Wellness Coaching Your Way to Health.”

Here’s to your health and happiness,

Josie Brown
SMW Relationship Editor