Former homeless addicts recall life on streets redemption in letters

Linda Ross Swanson’s “Wisdom Under the Bridge: The Prophets from Skid Row” stems from the Jewish tradition of the ethical will
(PR NewsChannel) / January 26, 2012 / PORTLAND, Ore. 

Wisdom Under the Bridge

"Wisdom Under the Bridge" by Linda Ross Swanson

Linda Ross Swanson recorded letters from previously homeless addicts in “Wisdom Under the Bridge: The Prophets from Skid Row” (ISBN 1463530595). She believes that the stories told in these letters will appeal to individuals from all backgrounds because we all have our own story, whether we are rich, poor, homeless or homeowners.

Men and women who lived on the streets feeding their addictions describe what life was like before finding the road to recovery. They recall the frightening experiences and the grungy living conditions. Despite the hardships they faced, they each found the strength and motivation to turn their lives around.

In their letters, while battling their inner demons, the men and women explain how advocates for the homeless and the addicted worked hard to find them employment and housing. They show how they became contributing members of a society, which once looked down upon them.

Swanson uses the Jewish tradition of the ethical will, but changes it to her personal idea of a Wisdom Will. The letters are meant to pass down life lessons and wisdom to future generations, and ease loved ones’ grief when they die. The individuals Swanson uses in her story pass their wisdom on to readers they may never have had the chance to meet.

“After finding sobriety, meaning and purpose, these individuals are helping others get their lives back,” Swanson says. “They offer profound insight and advice by example.”

Swanson believes that with over 3 million people living on the streets in the United States, the solution to some of the homeless issues might stem from those who survived this life. The author doesn’t want readers to feel sorry for the individuals featured in “Wisdom Under the Bridge,” but rather realize that everyone has their own story and trouble to overcome in life. She believes everyone has a sacred duty to share their stories with loved ones and community so that future generations might benefit.

“Wisdom Under the Bridge: The Prophets from Skid Row” is available for sale online at and other channels.

About the Author: Linda Ross Swanson holds a variety of degrees and certificates, including a master’s in applied theology and a diploma in pastoral care from Marylhurst University. She is certified in grief and loss counseling and education through the Association of Death Education and Counseling (ADEC). She is an Associate Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJMA), which strongly advocates for social justice. Swanson has her own private grief counseling practice. She helps clients memorialize their experience in a way that honors them and their loved one. Swanson is a recovering alcoholic of 25 years. Alcoholism also affected two of her brothers who lived on and off the streets for years.

Linda Ross Swanson
Phone:             (503) 267-7550



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SOURCE:  Linda Ross Swanson

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