I just finished reading this book (borrowed from the library!):
The author is a 24 year old recent college graduate who set out on an interesting social experiment. He got on a train and went to a new city with just $25 and the clothes on his back. His goal was to have a job, a fully-furnished apartment, a vehicle, and $2500 at the end of one year. He lives in a homeless shelter while he struggles to attain those goals. He didn't allow himself to use any contacts from his previous life, and did not tell any potential employers that he went to college.
His writing style lends itself to a quick read--I finished it in about a day.
I really admire this young man's courage and tenacity. I cannot imagine putting myself in that situation. So many people have opinions on poverty and homelessness, but this guy chose to put his money where his mouth was by giving up a year of his life to really experience it for himself.
His experience really re-affirmed my belief that America is full of opportunity, and that our choices (not unseen forces that our out of our control) largely control our destiny. He had to make tough choices in order to be able to acheive his lofty goals, and his discipline and patience paid off in the end.