The arts not only reflect our society, but also have the potential to re-shape it by raising awareness and inspiring action. We’re excited to launch “Culture Watch,” a new blog series examining how issues related to homelessness are portrayed in movies, TV series, music, visual art displays, stage plays and more. Frequent guest blogger Perry Firth, a graduate assistant at Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness, contributed this first post. After watching the movie “Eden,” filmed in Eastern Washington and based on a true story of sexual trafficking, Perry was moved to reflect on the relationship between trafficking and homelessness.
An expert panel of community members who have experienced homelessness spoke at the Conference on Ending Homelessness. Photo credit: Janice Tufte.
The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance's excellent 2013 Conference on Ending Homelessness featured many of the speakers you'd expect -- direct service providers, policy wonks, elected officials, and leading advocates. But organizers also offered a panel discussion by experts we don't see often enough at these types of gatherings: people who have experienced homelessness themselves. They are, of course, voices we should be listening to as we advocate for an end to homelessness, and we commend the Housing Alliance for including their perspectives. We recorded a couple of their stories, and we've included videos of Mindy and David.
Featured advocate Norene Roberts has worked as a social services provider for over a decade.
What's the first step you should take when you advocate for an end to homelessness? Listen. "Advocating for any person or group first requires that you know what it is that that person or group wants and needs – not what we think they want and need – and that requires opening your ears before your mouth," says Norene Roberts, program manager at The Salvation Army’s Catherine Booth House, a domestic violence shelter for women and children. Norene shares her thoughts on advocating for housing stability in this installment of our "I'm An Advocate" series.
Monica and her eight-year-old son Eric are grateful that the Housing Trust Fund helped build their safe, affordable community. Two years ago, they were on the verge of homelessness. Photo credit: Degale Cooper.
Right now our state lawmakers are making important decisions about investment in the Housing Trust Fund. Their budget decisions will have life-altering effects on people statewide. Through our "Policy Matters" blog series, we’re introducing you to community members who are directly impacted by state housing policies. Monica, a single mother who was on the edge of homelessness but found stability at a community built by the Housing Fund, shares her story in today’s post. Read Monica’s story and find out how you can advocate for a budget that invests in families and communities.
On Monday state lawmakers started a special session to work toward a budget agreement. Their decisions about investment in social safety-net services for the disabled and the Housing Trust Fundwill affect community members across the state. Our "Policy Matters" blog series introduces you to people whose lives are directly impacted by state housing policies. Today we share the story of Ron, a single father who lives at YWCA Family Village at Issaquah. Ron's community, along with many other safe, affordable homes, was built with help from the Housing Trust Fund. Read on to find out how this fund helps people like Ron, and what you can do to encourage our legislators to invest in our communities.