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“My Story is the Only Thing I Own.” Houseless “testimonios” of Survival and Resistance.
August 21, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
An event every week that begins at 5:30pm on Monday, repeating until August 28, 2017
What are the stories of unstably housed people in rural areas? What do we know about rural homelessness? What actions can we take to support community members who experience housing instability?
Homelessness has been a latent reality throughout U.S. history. Examining the current situation, we find that a 2017 report by the Washington State Department of Commerce (WSDC) revealed that 682 individuals in Whitman County needed housing assistance last year. Additionally, the Idaho 2016 Point-In-Time Count Report revealed a 14% overall increase, from 2015, of men, women, and children experiencing homelessness on the night of January 27, 2016 in Idaho. Considering the increasing numbers of individuals experiencing housing instability, the scarce studies on U.S. rural homelessness and the stigma the label “homeless” carries, Nancy Carvajal Medina, with the support of Joanna Bailey of Neill Public library, will offer the workshop series entitled “My Story is the Only Thing I Own.” Houseless “testimonios” of Survival and Resistance.
In the three workshops, we will bring our own worlds-assumptions, beliefs, values, cultural heritages, traditions, prejudices- into dialogue with the worlds of men and women who have experienced homelessness. In every workshop, we will read the stories of rural homeless individuals which were collected over a period of three years as part of a doctoral research project. Workshop participants will be immersed in a series of exercises to share our insights and knowledge about homelessness, to learn from the lived experiences of different individuals, to use arts (creative writing, drawing, painting) to respond to those experiences, and to discuss actions we can take as a community to support these “houseless” individuals. Every workshop has its own structure; therefore, you can attend one or all of them. In every workshop, we will expect to develop new understandings on the houseless experiences by exploring our worlds, developing empathetic listening, dialoguing critically, creating, and acting from the positions we occupy in the community.
Throughout the workshops we encourage the use of the term ‘houseless’ to dignify the lived experiences of those negatively and stereotypically portrayed as ‘the homeless’.
Dates: Mondays: August 14, 21, 28
Place: Neill Public Library. Hecht Meeting Room
Time: 5:30- 7:00 pm