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A Walk in Their Shoes—One Thousand Eight Hundred Miles: Noah Rattler’s Journey

Exhibit and Panel Discussion about the state of the homeless in Houston

A Walk in Their Shoes—One Thousand Eight Hundred Miles: Noah Rattler’s Journey is the Houston Public Library’s most recent exhibit at The African American Library at the Gregory School. This exhibit reveals the story of a man and his extreme journey of a lifetime to bring more awareness of the homeless situation in our county. The Library invites the community to experience Rattler’s four-month-journey, his 1,800-mile-walk, through film, photography and social media. View some of the cities, terrains and people Rattler met along the way while at the same time revealing his own self-discovery. The exhibit is on display now through June 2, 2012.

In conjunction with the exhibition, A Walk in Their Shoes: One Thousand Eight Hundred Miles, the community is also invited to join Noah Rattler and other homeless advocates for a panel discussion about the state of the homeless in Houston. This event will take place on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 2 PM. Rattler will moderate and invited panelists include:

Gary Grier, Community Engagement Director of the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County,
Stephen L. Williams, Director of the Health and Human Services Department,
Eva Thibaudeau, Program Manager at SEARCH, and
Faye Robinson, from the Bread of Life, Inc. at St. Johns Downtown.

The exhibit and panel discussion are being held at The African American Library at the Gregory School located at 1300 Victor Street, Freedmen’s Town, Fourth Ward, 77019. Both events are free and open to the public. For more details visit www.houstonlibrary.org or call 832-393-1440.

SAVE THE DATE: There will be another panel discussion scheduled for Saturday, June 2, 2012 at 2 PM. The community will hear a panel of advocates relating and discussing inspirational stories.

About Noah Rattler
Rattler’s personal experience made him more aware of how homelessness is a wide-spread situation that affects many and continues to remain a focus of concern in America. While volunteering at SEARCH, a center that works to engage, stabilize, educate, employ, and house individuals and families who are homeless, Houstonian Noah Rattler gained a perspective that has forever changed his life.

On March 24, 2007, Rattler set out on a journey to walk from Houston to Los Angeles, California to convey the complexity and diversity of homelessness he had seen. His goal was to simply raise awareness of this sweeping national problem. What began as an experiment in community cooperation quickly evolved into something much different. For Rattler, this expedition became not only a 1,800 mile walk, but rather a journey of self discovery and conviction.

“As I talk to people, I have come to understand that a much larger percentage of the population has had intimate dealings with homelessness, often times as children,” says Rattler. “The problem is a systemic one, so what needs to be changed is the system, but I’m not talking revolution. I propose a Cultural Re-evolution that gives us room to feel compassion for our neighbors, feel good about sacrificing for the benefit of others than ourselves, and allows us to expand our sense of self to include those in our communities.”

About The African American Library at the Gregory School
The African American Library at the Gregory School is the newest of three special collections operated by the Houston Public Library. Located in Houston’s historic Freedman’s Town, the Library is housed in what was once the Edgar M. Gregory School, which served as the first public school for African Americans in Houston. As the first library of its kind in Houston, and one of the few African American libraries in the country, The African American Library at the Gregory School serves as a resource to preserve, promote, and celebrate the rich history and culture of African Americans in Houston, the surrounding region, and the African Diaspora.

About the Houston Public Library
The Houston Public Library (HPL) operates 35 neighborhood libraries, three HPL Express Libraries, a Central Library, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, The African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Parent Resource Library located in the Children’s Museum of Houston. Serving more than 4 million customers per year, HPL is committed to excellent customer service and equitable access to information and programs by providing library customers with free use of a diverse collection of printed materials and electronic resources, Internet, laptop and computer use, and a variety of database and reference resources with live assistance online 24/7.

For further information, visit the Houston Public Library at www.houstonlibrary.org or call 832-393-1313.

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Contact:
Sandra Fernandez
Manager of Public Relations
Houston Public Library
832.393.1381; cell 713.435.9448
sandra.fernandez@houstontx.gov

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