Ignite Project Homeless: An evening of storytelling and myth-busting

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Nine local storytellers shared personal stories about homelessness at Ignite Project Homeless, Thursday, June 7, 7 p.m. at Seattle University. Our Project on Family Homelessness partnered with The Seattle Times Project Homeless team for this night of storytelling and myth-busting.

You can watch the entire video from the evening here.

The brave and beautiful storytellers were Sheri Collins; Hyla Dobaj; Rebekah Demirel; Jennie Heideman; Diaudre Hines; Karina O’Malley; Brice Maryman; Manda Richer; and Toya Thomas. (See more about them below.) Their moving stories earned a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of the night.  Thank you to all our storytellers!

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Reiny Cohen, emcee extraordinaire.

Our partner Reiny Cohen from Washington Low Income Housing Alliance served as a witty, compassionate and engaging emcee. Thank you, Reiny!


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Storytellers shared their experiences in the Ignite format: 5 minutes, 20 slides, 15 seconds per slide. For a list of storytellers, visit the Ignite Project Homeless page.

Mid-show, the entire Project Homeless team came on stage for a Q&A with Reiny.


How we chose the storytellers: We asked people to pitch a story by voicemail or email (details here), then the team selected the stories that represented a wide range of voices. Storytellers attended Ignite training sessions to polish their stories and get them ready for the big night.

Thank you to The Seattle Times Project Homeless team for inviting us to partner on this event, and to all our partner organizations who helped promote the storytelling opportunity and the event itself: A Way Home Washington, Building Changes, Campion Foundation, Firesteel, Housing Development Consortium, Mercy Housing, Pyramid Communications, Raikes Foundation, The Seattle Public Library, Solid Ground, Washington State Housing Finance Commission and Washington Low Income Housing Alliance.

Want to know more, or invite the storytellers for your event? Please contact us at hinrichc@seattleu.edu.


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