The purpose of the Seattle University Project on Family Homelessness is to engage the public in ending family homelessness.  Most people know us because of the Journalism Fellowships on Family Homelessness, which was our first initiative four years ago.

We’ve been up to a lot since then.

Want to learn more? Visit About Us, or link to our blog to see our most up-to-date news. Or, like us on Facebook.

Our biggest projects in early 2015 are:

We hope you’ll find some fresh ideas for how you can work with us to make homelessness among families rare, brief and not repeated.

Thank you for visiting us.

Recent Posts

Wired for Empathy: Why We Can’t Resist Good Narrative

Editor’s note: This is re-posted from Firesteel and is the first installment of a three-part series on storytelling, empathy, and advocacy.

the-call-of-the-wild-1200x726Written by Perry Firth, project coordinator, Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness and school psychology graduate student

I was mesmerized by Jack London’s Alaska: beautiful, severe, raw.

A skinny second grader belly down on the carpet of my bedroom floor, I was reading long after my parents had turned off my light.

But I had no choice! London’s writing had transported me to another world, free of the mundane realities that plague children, like a set bedtime and parents.

In this new world I empathized with London’s protagonist, a sled dog named Buck in Call of the Wild.

What is so powerful about this memory in hindsight is not that it marked the first time I fell in love with independent reading, but that it is a collective experience. Absolute absorption in a compelling story is something that almost all people can relate to; it is universal.

This absorption in another’s world happens, to varying degrees of intensity, every time we hear, read (or watch) a good story.

So here’s what fascinates me: Why does this happen? What is so important—evolutionarily—about stories that they command our attention in a way few things can? And are there stories that impact us more than others? Why does this occur? And, to be addressed a little later in this series, what does the hardwired human preference for stories mean for social justice advocates?

Read more of this post.

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