A downtown homeless shelter, the Settlement, is targeted for demolition during the Great Recession. In its place, the city wants to build a sports complex. Its pastor was offered full market value for the shelter property in order to move the stadium forward. A money manager set the price and interest rates. The deal to vacate the site includes a relocation bonus, if the mission signs the contract in the next twenty-four hours. Will the pastor give in?
“Words Unspoken, Things Unseen” written by author Joe Rodriguez tells the story of Reverend Stephen Bentham, founder and director of the Settlement, a homeless shelter that is about to be demolished. The pastor draws on the loyalty of Jósue Félix Guzmán also known as Molca (his assistant), Dr. Manfred Saul Reese (the house physician), and Rhoda Bart (a visiting archeology professor) to save the hundred beds of the shelter. Juanito Andrés Téllez, a school-age boy also joins the effort.
While Rhoda secretly searches for artifacts within the confines of the Settlement, the Alliance of Churches and Developers led by James Hannity wants them evicted. The city wants the property and the college as well. Fending off the bulldozers tests each character of this story. Their own troubled histories compel them to help. One of the toughest challenges is burying the house physician when he succumbs to cancer during their fight to preserve the shelter.
“Words Unspoken, Things Unseen” is a compelling novel general readers will sure to enjoy. This story leaves a lasting message about loyalty to one’s faith or to progress or to honor itself. It vividly reflects the actual work at a homeless shelter that is hard and tedious, like growing a garden out of concrete.
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