The goals of the Project on Family Homelessness are to increase public awareness and understanding of family homelessness and its causes and solutions, and to engage the public to end family homelessness.
Seattle University’s Center for Strategic Communications (CSC) founded the project in late 2009 with the establishment of the Journalism Fellowships on Family Homelessness, designed to help build public awareness of family homelessness in Washington state. Eight Seattle journalists went back to school in the spring of 2010 to learn about family homelessness in Washington state. Together with eight Seattle University students selected as research assistants, the Fellows attended three day-long seminars during spring quarter and conducted independent research. Their in-depth news coverage began appearing in summer 2010 and continued through spring 2012, in newspapers, on radio and TV, online and elsewhere.
The fellowships program yielded outstanding and unprecedented in-depth reporting by six different news organizations and independent journalists, and was commended by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. The project continued with the fellowship awarded to The Herald in Everett (Snohomish County) and concluded with South Sound magazine in Pierce County.
Becoming the Project on Family Homelessness
In 2011, the project’s name changed to the Project on Family Homelessness to reflect its expanded scope beyond journalism fellowships. We helped draw attention to family homelessness among veterans and brought our message to the public in unexpected settings. Since 2013, we’ve focused on supporting our family homelessness advocacy partners, the non-profit organizations in Washington state who work to end family homelessness. We’ve also taken on special storytelling projects like StoryCorps and The Moth.
The Project on Family Homelessness was awarded a sixth grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its 2016 family homelessness advocacy work.