Suggested Reading, Viewing, and Listening

Sometimes the best way to really understand others is to immerse yourself in their stories through books and other forms of media. Here are some recommended resources to strengthen your equity muscle. 

Hunger and Homelessness

To read:

Check out the LA Family Housing reading list. There are also some good podcast suggestions. 

A Homeless Christmas Story - This children's story tells the story of Christmas eve in a homeless shelter. 

To watch:

Same Different Kind as Me - Movie - Successful art dealer Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear) and his wife Debbie (Renée Zellweger) seemingly have the perfect life. But when their faith and family are tested, an unlikely bond with a homeless drifter (Djimon Hounsou) leads them on a remarkable journey that forges an everlasting friendship. Same Kind of Different As Me shows how a simple act of kindness can change everything.

Pursuit of Happyness - Movie - Will Smith stars in this moving tale inspired by the true story of Chris Gardner, a San Francisco salesman struggling to build a future for himself and his 5-year-old son Christopher (Jaden Smith). When his girlfriend Linda (Thandie Newton) walks out, Chris is left to raise Christopher (Jaden Smith) on his own.

The Public - Movie - One of Cincinnati's public libraries soon becomes an unlikely shelter for homeless people seeking warmth from the city's cold weather. All hell breaks loose as the homeless begin barricading themselves in the library and the police are called in to try and defuse the situation. Writer and director Emilio Estevez's carefully-crafted dramedy focuses on the story of two librarians, a crisis negotiator, a district attorney and the leader of the homeless as they become tied up in this act of civil disobedience.

Shelter - Movie - Hannah and Tahir fall in love while homeless on the streets of New York. Shelter explores how they got there, and as we learn about their pasts we realize they need each other to build a future.

Maid - Limited Series - After fleeing an abusive relationship, a young mother finds a job cleaning houses as she fights to provide for her child and build them a better future. 


Ear Hustle - This is a podcast that is produced by Bay Area visual artist Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods, formerly incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison. The podcast looks at the prison system through the lives of those involved in it. Some episodes look at circumstances that led individuals to end up in prison, while others explore life inside. Yet others focus on the challenges former inmates face once they’ve been released—including not having a place to call home. Difficult, honest, and often funny, Ear Hustle provides a nuanced view of our Prison System, inside and out.

Somebody Somewhere - Season 2 of this true crime Podcast looks into the investigation of a double homicide that took place in The Jungle, a large homeless encampment in Seattle. Somebody Somewhere talks about the politics surrounding the case, the type of media attention it garnered based on the victims being homeless, and how prosecutors did or didn’t take seriously the accounts of the victims or witnesses because of who they were.

Gimmie Shelter - Why is it so expensive to live in California? And what can the state do about it? CALmatters’ data and housing reporter Matt Levin and Los Angeles Times housing reporter Liam Dillon chat about the latest developments in California housing policy and interview a key housing newsmaker.