Health

Tent Life: Reflections on Experiencing Homelessness as a Child

As a child, Barbara Abelhauser lived in a tent with her family. Today she is a bridge operator and writer. Photo by Amy Sassenberg courtesy Barbara Abelhauser.
As a child, Barbara Abelhauser lived in a tent with her family. Today she is a bridge operator and writer. Photo by Amy Sassenberg courtesy Barbara Abelhauser.
"There was a complicated set of circumstances that caused us to live in a tent, but laziness wasn’t one of them. I have worked since I was 10 years old. There wasn’t a single member of my family that wouldn’t have moved heaven and earth to get out of our situation." Barbara Abelhauser shares what it was like to spend much of her childhood living in a tent with her family.

Connecting the Dots Between Homelessness and Health

A doctor checks on a young patient. Health care professionals and service providers are building partnerships to help ensure that all families -- including those who experience homelessness -- get access to the care they need. Image courtesy Building Changes via Seattle University School of Theology & Ministry.
A doctor checks on a young patient. Health care professionals and service providers are building partnerships to help ensure that all families -- including those who experience homelessness -- get access to the care they need. Image courtesy Building Changes via Seattle University School of Theology & Ministry.
Lana and her daughter were evicted from their two-bedroom apartment in Renton last year when Lana’s kidneys failed and she could no longer work to keep up on rent. Like many families, they opted to hold on to their vehicle and the little bit of security and freedom it still offers them. Real Change recently reported their story as part of an ongoing series on vehicle residents in Seattle. Hannah Hunthausen from Seattle University's School of Theology & Ministry reflects on the report, and invites readers to learn more about the intersections of homelessness and health.

Culture Watch: Inside the Epidemic of Veteran Suicide With “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”

 This image captures the intensity of the crisis responders at the Veterans Crisis Hotline as they do everything they can to steer callers away from suicide. Image from <a href="http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/crisis-hotline-veterans-press-1#/" target="_blank">HBO</a>.
This image captures the intensity of the crisis responders at the Veterans Crisis Hotline as they do everything they can to steer callers away from suicide. Image from HBO.
The Oscar-winning documentary "Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1" really hit home for guest blogger Perry Firth. She was once a responder at a local crisis line, and the film brought back memories of the people she spoke with who were contemplating taking their own lives. In this moving post, she reflects on the film, what she learned as a crisis responder, and the connections between military service, suicide and homelessness.

Picturing Child Homelessness: The Challenges Behind “The Big Brain”

Here is a portion of our new infographic, “The Big Brain.” If you want to see the rest of the infographic, keep reading! Image from the Project on Family Homelessness.
Here is a portion of our new infographic, “The Big Brain.” If you want to see the rest of the infographic, keep reading! Image from the Project on Family Homelessness.
In September, Seattle University students Perry Firth and Krista Kent created nine new infographics as part of our series, Poverty and Homelessness in the Public School System. The experience inspired them to create one super-infographic that they nicknamed “The Big Brain.” What are the perils of encapsulating so much information into one bold visualization? Perry takes us behind the scenes of creating this brand-new infographic, “Child Homelessness & Toxic Stress: Far-Reaching Consequences.”

I’m an Advocate: Shelly Cohen

Shelly Cohen has advocated for a number of causes. Here, he holds an advocacy card that customers signed expressing their support for QFC workers during the UFCW 21 Stand With Our Checkers Campaign in  2013. Image credit: Alex Garland.
Shelly Cohen has advocated for a number of causes. Here, he holds an advocacy card that customers signed expressing their support for QFC workers during the UFCW 21 Stand With Our Checkers Campaign in 2013. Image credit: Alex Garland.
Happy holidays! We're delighted to regale you with the wise words of yet another inspiring advocate. Shelly Cohen is a Real Change vendor who has a lot of experience advocating at the city and state level for affordable housing, a service animal protection act, and other causes.
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