Speakers and presentations can be an effective way to educate your faith community around the issue of family homelessness.

 

When planning your session, it’s important to consider:

  • Audience wants and needs
  • Relevance to what’s happening today in your community
  • Desired outcome – what should the audience think/feel and do after the session

There are a wide-range of local experts who can be approached to share their knowledge about the homeless system and experiences around family homelessness. The following is a small sample of the types of resources available….

Real Change’s Homeless Speakers’ Bureau (http://realchangenews.org/index.php/site/about/hsb) –

  • The Real Change Speakers’ Bureau “puts a human face on poverty and homelessness by allowing homeless and formerly homeless speakers to share their experiences with others.”
  • Bureau consists of people who are currently homeless or have been homeless in the past
  • Speakers address a variety of issues such as: mental illness, drug addiction, domestic violence, gentrification, unemployment, and the criminal justice system.
  • Speakers also discuss the solutions, focusing specifically on the work of the Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project
  • The host organization pays a $50 honorarium per speaker, all of which goes directly to that individual.

The Faces of Homelessness Speakers Bureau (http://www.nationalhomeless.org/faces/index.html) –

  • This group “is comprised of people who are or have been homeless and works to educate the public about homelessness and what can be done to end it.”
  • Panel format instead of one individual speaker
  • Presentation includes a multi-media slideshow or video, a moderator to present facts about homelessness, and up to three panelists who are or have been homeless. See http://www.nationalhomeless.org/faces/presentation.html for more info.
  • After presentation the panel offers ways people can get involved (ideas range from volunteering at shelters to influencing legislation).
  • There is also a Q and A time that is conducted by the moderator

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