Second-Hand Bookstore Aims To Empower Athens' Homeless

  • by XpatAthens
  • Tuesday, 25 June 2019
Second-Hand Bookstore Aims To Empower Athens' Homeless
When Leonidas Koursoumis first saw the 400 square meter warehouse, full of dust and leftover building materials, near the center of Athens, he was left speechless. He knew that it would take tons of work, but he was one step closer to making his dream come true: to create the first second-hand bookstore in the country run exclusively by homeless people.

After losing his job in 2012, Mr. Koursoumis was also–eventually– left homeless. "When I was walking, whenever I felt tired I looked for a quiet place to sleep. I've slept on the ground, in the entrances of apartment buildings in Athens many times" he says.

During his time on the street, Mr. Koursoumis, collected discarded books from trashcans across the city which he later sold to the second-hand book stalls at the Athens flea market. The pursuit of old books gave him the idea to open a second-hand bookstore where he and the friends he met on the streets could work and make a living.

Today, he is confident that through the bookstore, he and his friends will be able to reclaim a part of their old lives. He is aiming to create a community center run by the homeless for the homeless at a new permanent spot he has found in Tavros, near the center of the city and hopes to move his book shop to the new premises in the next couple of weeks.

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You can donate or buy second-hand books at 132 Piraios street, Athens, every day from 11.00 am to 05:00 pm