3rd Annual Social Media 101 for Housing Advocates Hangout, Jan. 27 – Register Now!

Social Media 101 photo
Erin Murphy of YWCA is one of the Hangout leaders; this is a screen shot from the first Hangout two years ago.

 

Effective use of social media is a great way to reach a target audience, and advocate for the issues you care about — like affordable housing and an end to homelessness.

So, join us on Tuesday, January 27 at 10:30 a.m. for our third annual “Social Media 101 for Housing Advocates” Hangout. Co-hosted with Firesteel and the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, this will be a free training session for people who want to learn how to use social media to advocate online for affordable housing issues. The session will help you understand and use social media sites and apps like Twitter and Facebook, and show you how to join with organizations to be an online housing advocate.

There are two ways to access the training:

Option 1: Access Online By Yourself via Webinar

The organizers will be facilitating this workshop as a live Google Hangout video conference, running from 10:30-11:30 a.m. So, participants will be able to attend from anywhere they choose. Register now!

Option 2: Watch in a Room with Other Advocates

If you want a more hands-on approach, you can come to Seattle University’s Chardin Hall, room 145, to watch the live 45-minute webinar and exchange ideas and ask questions afterwards till about 12:30 p.m. Seattle U’s social media marketing specialist, Sarah Hyde, will be on hand to help us think through how we can use social media techniques to advocate year round. Coffee and snacks will be available. Please register by Friday, Jan. 23 for this option if you can.

Agenda for Option 2
10:30 – 11:30am      Video conference
11:30 – 12:30pm      Follow-up coaching and Q & A
Coffee and snacks will be provided. Please bring your own lunch.

We highly recommend that you bring your laptop and/or a mobile device with you, but it is not required. Paid parking is available on the street (12th Avenue is easiest) or in the Murphy garage.  There is also limited free two-hour parking in the streets east of the university. Please see this campus map for details on parking and room location.

Hope to see you there!

Local Story Behind Debut of “@home” on Chicago PBS Station

Photo Tiana Haley @home t-shirts
Seattle U students Haley Lewis (L) and Tiana Quitugua (R) model their new t-shirts featuring the artwork Haley created for “@home.” Photo by Catherine Hinrichsen.

Tomorrow night, a powerful new documentary will have its broadcast premiere, on Chicago’s WTTW-TV, Channel 11 (PBS), 9 p.m. Central. So, this is a great time to reflect on one of the highlights of our year: hosting the remarkable e-activist Mark Horvath for the Seattle premiere of the film about him, “@home.”

We were thrilled to bring Mark and the film’s director, Susanne Suffredin, here in May for the premiere, which kicked off another highlight of our year, the Hack to End Homelessness.

Watching the film in prep for the screening, our student Haley Jo Lewis was inspired to create an illustration about Mark. The film’s producers, the Kindling Group, liked the art so much that they used it to print t-shirts for their outreach campaign. The shirts arrived last week! Haley and our project assistant and recent SU grad, Tiana Quitugua, were happy to model the shirts; see the photo above.

@ home drawing, Haley Lewis, @hardlynormal
Haley tweeted her illustration at Mark in April, and he took notice!

Continue reading

“Goodness, Resilience and Love”: Formerly Homeless Tacoma Family on StoryCorps Friday, 11/28

StoryCorps Gilliard Family-official version

Franklin and Sherry Gilliard, the Tacoma family whose story aired on StoryCorps Nov. 28.

We’re feeling grateful for the bounty of heartfelt stories that Puget Sound families told StoryCorps this summer, and amazingly, a second story from our project has been selected for national broadcast.  The story aired Friday morning, Nov. 28 during StoryCorps’ “National Day of Listening” on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.

The story was recorded as part of our project, “Finding Our Way: Puget Sound Stories About Family Homelessness.” “Finding Our Way,” funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a collaboration between Catholic Community Services of Western Washington (CCS), YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish and Seattle University Project on Family Homelessness.

StoryCorps Tacoma sign on door
The Gilliard family first recorded their story at CCS in July. Here’s the “farewell and thanks” sign that CCS staff posted on their front door that week.

The story, “Once Homeless, Family Feels ‘Blessed To Wake Up Another Day,'” features the Gilliard family of Tacoma, Wash., who first recorded their story at CCS in July. StoryCorps producer Eve Claxton heard their story and invited them back for an additional recording in early November, also at CCS, and from that recording the story was produced. Here’s the official description of the story:

Sherry Gilliard talks with her husband Franklin Gilliard about losing their business and subsequently their home after the economic crash, their experience of becoming homeless and living in a shelter with their three children, and the love and faith that brought them through these hardships. The family is now in transitional housing in Tacoma, Wash.

“Friday is our ‘National Day of Listening,’ and for that broadcast we always try to air pieces that embody goodness, resilience and love,” Eve said. “The Gilliards are a very special family and everyone here is excited to share their story on such a special day.”

Continue reading

“Stepping Into Homelessness”: Our first edited StoryCorps recording features United Way leader

Haley selfie laptop
Haley Jo Lewis created the “Stepping Into Homelessness” audio piece on her laptop, using GarageBand.

Our project assistant, Seattle U senior Haley Jo Lewis, recently revealed yet another talent. Project manager Catherine asked Haley if she knew how to do audio editing. Haley said, “I like GarageBand.”

So, we asked her to see what she could do with a CD copy of a StoryCorps recording that Catherine had done with one of our project’s key partners, Vince Matulionis of United Way of King County.

The result: Haley’s just-published Firesteel package that includes a three-minute piece on Soundcloud and an accompanying blog post.

The package, “Stepping Into Homelessness: Domestic Violence and the Power of Empathy”:

  • Gives us insight into what drives people like Vince, one of Seattle’s leaders in ending homelessness, and what keeps him doing the sometimes-frustrating work.
  • Supports October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities, on which we’ve collaborated with Firesteel and the YWCA Seattle-King-Snohomish County. (Emma’s earlier NFL & DV series was part of this too.)
  • Launches us into the next phase of the StoryCorps project, in which we’ll be working with Firesteel to produce potentially several dozen audio pieces like this.

Here’s the re-posted piece from Firesteel. Check it out! And way to go, Haley! Continue reading

Inside “Heartbroken”: What we’ve all learned about domestic violence and the NFL

http://firesteelwa.org/2014/10/heartbroken-a-young-female-fan-reacts-to-domestic-violence-and-the-nfl/
Emma Lytle with her boyfriend,  Ricky Martinez. She’s a lifelong Seahawks fan, but has recently been dismayed by the domestic violence incidents in the NFL.

It”s hard to believe, but when we first conceived of this blog series for Firesteel in late July, one of the most notorious, most-shared videos in history hadn’t even surfaced yet. All we knew was that last spring, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice had been seen in a surveillance video dragging the unconscious body of his then-fiancee Janay Palmer out of an elevator — an apparent domestic violence incident. We didn’t know yet what had happened inside the elevator.

As the National Football League (NFL) dithered about trying to decide how to handle that situation, we found out our project assistant, Emma Lytle, is a true-blue Seahawks fan. And we thought it might be fascinating to look at the incident through her eyes. So, we asked her to share her perspective via a Firesteel blog post for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Since then, it’s been a roller coaster. The shocking video* from inside the elevator was leaked — but why did it take so long and when did the NFL know about it? What’s the appropriate response to these incidents? Continue reading

New Infographics on Childhood Homelessness, Education, and Child Development

Like Infographics? Interested in visual representations of some of the issues that can accompany childhood homelessness and poverty? Then take a peek at the infographics we recently created for our seven-part series, “Homelessness and Poverty in the Public Education System.”

Learn more by reading the series on Firesteel’s website here

We are always interested in how homelessness, poverty and stress affect child development and adult outcomes. Recent research into these relationships for our seven-part series “Homelessness and Poverty in the Public Education System” yielded not only great insights, but, thanks to the talents of our digital designer Krista Kent, nine new infographics. Continue reading

Homelessness and Poverty in the Public Education System: An Intro to Our Blog Series

This is a re-post from our partner, Firesteel, from Sept. 2, 2014.  This week, Firesteel began publishing an insightful seven-part series on homelessness in the classroom, written by our project coordinator, Perry Firth. Homelessness affects more than 30,000 school-age children in Washington state.
The series also includes brand-new infographics, designed by our digital design assistant, Krista Kent (see below). Read and share!

Children know when they are falling behind academically. As they continue to struggle, they can develop both low self esteem and a dislike of school. That is why it is so essential that children who need extra help get it.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Image from pixabay.com.

 

Children know when they are falling behind academically. As they continue to struggle, they can develop both low self esteem and a dislike of school. That is why it is so essential that children who need extra help get it. Image from pixabay.com.

As the new school year starts, teachers face many challenges. So do children who are dealing with homelessness and poverty. And this couldn’t be truer than for impoverished children who are also in need of special education services. With parents focusing on day-to-day survival and too busy to consistently advocate for their needs, children who are homeless may fail to receive the services they need to succeed in school.

The result is that children already harmed by their living circumstances can fall even further behind. Therefore, adults who work with children in poverty and homelessness need to understand how this environment influences academic skill and emotional development, and how it relates to special education needs.

So, we present this seven-part series on how homelessness and poverty affect the development of children, and how this can show up in the education system. Thanks to Perry Firth for contributing this important series.

Read the full post here and follow the seven-part series on Firesteel.

Also, check out these new infographics created for the series by our digital design assistant, Krista Kent. 

 

Continue reading

As Heard on NPR: Homelessness Threatens Student Success

This is a re-post of an article published on Firesteel’s blog Aug. 22, 2014.

In a StoryCorps conversation that aired on NPR this morning, Erika (left) talks with her mom about attending high school while living in a car. Image from StoryCorps.
In a StoryCorps conversation that aired on NPR this morning, Erika (left) talks with her mom about attending high school while living in a car. Image from StoryCorps.

Written by Denise Miller, Firesteel Advocacy Coordinator

More than 30,000 schoolchildren in Washington state are experiencing homelessness.

In a heart-wrenching story that aired on NPR this morning, one of these students, Erika, talks about the challenges of attending high school while living in a car with her family. Listen on the StoryCorps website.

Erika’s story was collected as part of the Gates Foundation’s “Finding Our Way” initiative, which has given more than 150 people in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties a chance to share in their own words how homelessness has affected their lives.

Read This Post in Full.

See More about our StoryCorps Project.

 

 

Happy Hellos and Hard Goodbyes On Project Team

We’ve just said some sad good-byes to most of our team members on the Project on Family Homelessness, but we welcome several great additions to our team. Here’s who will be impressing you in the months to come, and a reflection on some of the outstanding work of our former team members.

New Project Assistants:  Krista Kent and Emma Lytle

Krista Kent is a senior in the Digital Design program, minoring in Spanish. She’ll be our new design assistant, taking over for McKenna Haley (see below).

Krista Kent photo digital design assistant Project on Family Homelessness
Krista Kent joins our team as digital designer.

Krista comes to us with a strong background in design and active involvement in the community. Since winter of 2012, Krista has worked with Seattle University’s Center for Service and Community Engagement. She created flyers and informational design for the Center, and has worked at Bailey-Gatzert Elementary assisting teachers in classrooms and helping first graders in an afterschool-tutoring program.  Recently Krista had the opportunity to re-brand First Cup Coffee House into Mama’s Café, as part of the 23rd and Union Small Business Consultation and Community Enhancement Project.

Emma Lytle is our new project assistant, replacing Tiana Quitugua, who just graduated (see below).

Emma Lytle photo project assistant Project on Family Homelessness
Emma (left) at the American Refugees photo booth hosted by Firesteel; she’s posing with Jediah McCourt.

Emma is entering her senior year as a strategic communications major at Seattle University. She joins us with a passion for working with non-profits and with children. She recently finished a seven-month internship with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, where she handled sensitive communication with families and healthcare professionals. Emma also worked for several years as a daycare teacher and loves working with children and families. Some of our partners might remember Emma from her enthusiastic volunteer work and professionalism at the Hack to End Homelessness and the SIFF American Refugees premiere. She’s busy working on outreach for the StoryCorps project.

New Grad Assistant/Project Coordinator: Perry Firth 

We’re happy to welcome back Perry Firth, in an expanded role as half-time Project Coordinator, taking over for Graham Pruss (see below).

Perry Firth photo Project coordinator Project on Family Homelessness
Perry Firth returns in an expanded role.

Perry is continuing her graduate work at Seattle U in school psychology and spent the past school year as a research assistant to a visiting scholar and counseling psychologist. Their work together focused on prevention and wellness,  ecological counseling, and toward the end of their time together, school shootings.   That position ended just as we needed to fill our position — lucky us!  Perry is committed to approaching mental health issues through a social justice lens, and has a special interest in anxiety disorders, adolescence, and issues that disproportionately impact women.  She is a gifted writer who is especially adept at analyzing the intersection between academic research and its applications to family homelessness, just as she did in these Firesteel posts on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the all-time most-viewed Firesteel post, on dehumanization, “Why We Keep Walking.” We’ll be looking for her to help us understand more about the important links between housing and academic achievement for children in our state.

 

Continue reading

Hack to End Homelessness: Tiana’s Take (New Video)

What was the role of Seattle University faculty, students and staff in the Hack to End Homelessness? They were planners, community liaisons, hackers and volunteers.  This awesome new video by our project assistant, Tiana Quitugua, tells the stories of the many folks in red at the Hackathon.

Tiana is one of the stellar Seattle U students graduating this weekend, and this is one of her final projects for us.  Thank you, Tiana, for capturing this experience and telling it from the SU perspective, and for all your great work for us.

For more about the Hackathon, read our recap.