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The Story Of How Boston’s Book Club For The Homeless Came To Be

Peter Resnik was walking along the Boston Common on a cold Boston winter when he spotted a man wearing a Giants jacket. For those who don’t know, wearing a Giants jacket in Boston can attract attention. But it wasn’t long before Peter discovered that the man wearing the Giants jacket was homeless. The story from here illustrates just how profound an effect being a decent and kind human being can have in this world.

This piece also appears on WBUR’s Soundcards - a new audio project we’re working on as part of our iLab initiative


My name is Peter Resnik. I’m a lawyer downtown, and my commute every morning was to walk across the Boston Common and the Garden. In the course of that walk I started talking to two homeless men who were in the park and got to know them over a period of months. One day I commented on the fact that one of the men was wearing a Giants jacket. I was teasing him about it. He responded, “It’s not a Giants jacket, it’s a warm jacket” and where he bought his clothes they didn’t have Patriots jackets. You know, the conversations just got a little more personal as time went by and we started talking about books. And I gave him a book called Water For Elephants, then we started on another book and I asked him what he had done with Water For Elephants, and he had given it to somebody else on the Common. And I asked him what they did with it and they gave it to somebody else. And we decided we’d try to see if we could put together a book club. 

Photo by Vernon Doucette/Boston University Photography


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    Communal people…
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