A moving exploration of the largely unrecognized crisis of homeless youth in America told through the inspiring story of a woman working on the frontlines.
About the Book
When Vicki Sokolik’s son brought home a friend from school—an A student who had left her unsafe home and was dropping out to work full-time—Sokolik became aware of the invisible population of homeless young people in this country. These are youth afraid of the foster system: victims of intergenerational poverty, neglect, racism, homophobia, transphobia, domestic and sexual abuse, and addiction. Unable to live at home, they sleep on friends’ couches, in parks, on streets. With no access to government IDs or parental signatures, they can’t get jobs or driver’s licenses or apply to college. They have no safety net and no adult guidance.
IF YOU SEE THEM is a powerful examination of the issue of youth homelessness, told through the experience of one woman at the forefront of an effort to address the issue. An inspiring account of grassroots action and social justice, it also gives voice to the youth themselves, who tell their own stories.
Praise for IF YOU SEE THEM
"A timely and truly inspiring memoir." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Whether describing individual cases or her daughter, her empathy and determination are evident. Brutally realistic and never preachy, Sokolik advocates strongly for these needy, overlooked children." -- Kathleen McBroom, Booklist
"Helping traumatized teenagers with no homes or functional parents is hard, complicated, maddening work, but Vicki Sokolik won't take no for an answer. Her zealous, sometimes maddening, but ultimately heroic persistence turns out to be just what it takes to overcome the defenses of her young clients and push them, struggling, into a better life." -- Larissa MacFarquhar, author of Strangers Drowning
"These unforgettable, deeply moving, all-too-true stories amount to an urgent call to action." -- Robert Kolker, author of New York Times bestseller Hidden Valley Road
"In this deeply compassionate book, Vicki Sokolik gives homeless youth a chance to be seen and heard -and gives readers ample reason to take action." -- Anya Kamenetz, author of The Stolen Year
"As a former unhoused youth myself, I am grateful for Vicki Sokolik's tireless advocacy. This book inspires readers to take notice and take action for those less fortunate. -- Ashley Rhodes-Courter, author of the New York Times bestseller Three Little Words
"This emotional narrative compels us to confront the enormous challenges facing young people who must survive without any caring adult in their lives. It is a call to action for other communities, inspired by one woman's tireless activism and unwavering belief in the good that resides in all of us." -- Pam Iorio, former mayor of Tampa
"If You See Them compels us to examine how we fail to support the most vulnerable youth. It inspires us to look beyond preconceived notions of homelessness and proves that there is no such thing as a bad kid." -- Thaddeus Bullard aka WWE Global Ambassador Titus O'Neil, author of There's No Such Thing as a Bad Kid
"Proof that the ordinary among us can do the extraordinary, Vicki Sokolik's If You See Them shines a floodlight on our most vulnerable children."-- Mona Hanna-Attisha, author of What the Eyes Don't See
Vicki Sokolik is the founder and CEO of Starting Right, Now (SRN), a pioneering nonprofit that provides social and health services to unhoused students in Florida. A CNN Hero, she has co-authored and amended legislation to pass ten bills protecting unaccompanied youth statewide. She lives in Tampa, Florida.
Press and in the Media
Thursday, February 15, 7:00pm
Oxford Exchange Bookstore
420 West Kennedy Boulevard
Please RSVP to attend
Tuesday, February 20, 7:00pm
Tombolo Books at The Studio
620 First Avenue S
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Thursday, February 22, 8:00pm
Books & Books
265 Aragon Avenue
Coral Gables, Florida
This is free and open to the public.