Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lives Touched by the Birmingham Public Library: Adrienne Stroud Moves from Homeless to Homeowner Thanks to Assistance from BPL

Adrienne Stroud talking to staff at the Business, Science and Technology Dept.

Adrienne Stroud was homeless for over two months during the summer of 2014. Today, she is a homeowner. Stroud gives much of the credit to Birmingham Public Library (BPL) staffers who provided assistance and access to information that helped turn her life around.

“The Birmingham Public Library helped me find a homeless prevention program to get off the streets, and put me in touch with people who help those who’ve lost jobs,” Stroud said. "A lot of people aren’t aware you can call the library to get information and take advantage of valuable programs for free.”

Stroud is one of 1.5 million lives a year touched in a positive way by resources and workshops available for free to the public at BPL’s 19 locations. Stroud in particular credits Jim Murray, head of the Business, Science and Technology Department at the Central Library, and Robert Jones, a librarian in the department, for taking time out to help her.

“A lot of people use the Yellow Pages,” Stroud said. “I am legally blind so I called the library to find resources I needed. The library was an invaluable resource for me that helped me move from a homeless shelter at the Salvation Army to become a homeowner.”

Stroud is now in her 18th month of taking classes at Lawson State Community College, and has also taken some coursework at Miles College, thanks to educational assistance programs for students she learned about from BPL. She said has built friendships with BPL staff like Murray and Jones, whom she still keeps in touch with today.

“I feel as if the Birmingham Public Library is a part of my extended family,” Stroud said.

See videos and more information about how to help BPL assist patrons like Stroud at http://www.bplonline.org/Foundation/Support.aspx. View BPL's homelessness resource page at http://www.bplonline.org/virtual/subjects/Default.aspx?s_page=75. Also. consider making donations to BPL as part of #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving taking place on Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

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