Think of it as an online flash mob. Thunderclap is a free tool for posting simultaneous messages from lots of people across multiple social media accounts. Today on the podcast we highlight a few Thunderclap success stories, talk about our experiences as “crowd-speak” participants, and share ideas for organizing your own campaign.
Meg Roberts (@megchirps on Twitter) built this collage featuring scenes from the Hack to End Homelessness.
Seattle’s first-ever Hack to End Homelessness brought housing advocates and service providers together with members of the tech community to design and build solutions to homelessness. The weekend of May 2-4, more than 100 people collaborated on a dozen projects, including informative infographics, data analyses and visualizations, websites, and mobile apps. Read on for our take on the event, as well our videos featuring activist Mark Horvath.
With the right apps, smartphones can be great tools for advocacy. On today’s podcast we share some of our favorite apps, as well as a few we’re testing. Learn about apps that connect you with elected officials, jazz up your photos, make it easy to share files, and more!
The many faces of Mark Horvath and his good friend, social media, as shown in the new film @home. Original art by Haley Jo Lewis.
Equipped with a video camera, a big online following, and endless compassion, Mark Horvath documents and shares stories of people who are experiencing homelessness. The new documentary "@home" follows Mark on an 11,000-mile road trip across the United States, and introduces us to the homeless men, women, and children he connects with. Haley Jo Lewis from Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness reviews the film and invites you to its May 2 Seattle premiere.
Until recently, it was easy for organizations to reach their Facebook followers with content like status updates, links and photos. Last fall, however, Facebook changed the algorithm that determines who sees that content in their News Feeds. After we noticed a decrease in the number of people who see Firesteel's posts, we did some research and experimenting to figure out how to use the network effectively. In this podcast, we talk about about boosting Facebook engagement with and without paid advertising. We also suggest ways to expand your online presence beyond Facebook.
Housing advocates posted this image as their profile pictures on Twitter and Facebook to inspire their networks to take action to end homelessness. The image was designed by Stephanie Velasco of the Housing Development Consortium.
One of our policy priorities, a bill to maintain document recording fee funding for programs that are ending homelessness, had a wild ride in the legislature this year. Advocacy, both online and in-person, kept pressure on lawmakers to ensure that important services like domestic violence shelters could stay open. Here’s a look at some of the tweets, blog posts, photos, news stories and Facebook updates that made a difference.
A table filled with bright mustaches, bowties and glasses; signs with catchy captions; and a basket filled with pink Hershey’s kisses. This was Tiana's Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day (HHAD) photo booth amidst the morning hustle and bustle of Seattle University’s business building.
Followers of this blog have heard about the success and fun we had with our photo booth at this year's Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day. In Olympia, we had the privilege of inviting committed housing advocates to pose for a picture displaying an advocacy message of their choice. At the same time, Seattle University student Tiana Quitugua was hosting her own photo booth on campus. She was not only asking her peers to pose for a photo, but also providing information about housing and homelessness that was new to some students. Tiana was kind to share some insights from her experience. Read on for great tips and fun photos!
Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day was a great opportunity to let our friends, family and other online contacts know about our advocacy efforts and encourage them to join us. To make online advocacy easy and fun, Firesteel set up a photo booth, complete with pre-made signs, dry-erase boards for those who wanted to write their own messages, and props. Hundreds of advocates took pictures, which were shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a slew of websites. Check out some of our favorite shots!
Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day (#HHAD2014) is Jan. 28, just a couple of weeks away. Help us get the word out by participating in the Social Media Day of Action TODAY. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness about policies that will help end homelessness, and also encourage people to join us in Olympia for #HHAD2014.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we're exploring the connections between domestic violence and family homelessness. In this video, Norene Roberts, program manager at a domestic violence shelter, explains how abusers isolate their victims from their friends and family -- and how this isolation can contribute to homelessness. She also gives advice for helping a loved one who is experiencing domestic violence.
Domestic violence isn't just physical abuse -- it can also be emotional and economic abuse. In Naomi's case, her former partner manipulated her finances and stole money from her. He isolated her from her friends and family and threatened to kill her. Though Naomi wanted to leave him, she feared retaliation. She also needed him around to help pay the bills.
In this video, Jennifer Quiróz, Economic Resilience Program Manager at the YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish, explains how economic abuse can look in different relationships. She also shares why economic abuse is such an effective tool for trapping women in violent situations.
The cycle of abuse depends on silence. First we must name domestic violence. Then we can act to end it. Firesteel is breaking the silence. Our interactive quiz testing and building your knowledge about domestic violence in Washington state will be online and sharable throughout the month. Each week, we’ll share a new video and blog posts about domestic violence -- what it looks like, how it causes family homelessness, and how we can end it.
We didn’t look very far when we decided who to interview for this third installment of our "I'm An Advocate" series! Denise Miller is the new Firesteel Advocacy Coordinator and the co-founder of ChangeStream Media, a nonprofit organization that uses digital storytelling to advocate for social justice. She shared her motivation for speaking up for housing issues, along with her thoughts on how digital storytelling can spark change.
Watch this #YWHangout tolearn how to use tools like Twitter and Facebook for housing advocacy. You’ll master the basics of engaging your contacts in housing and homelessness issues that matter to you. You’ll also find out how to directly connect with decision makers. Your online voice will help give everyone the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, affordable home.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month and Firesteel is exploring the connections between domestic violence and family homelessness through the end of this month. We are running a Facebook campaign including an interactive quiz. Read on to learn how we are inviting people to learn more about these connected issues!
The Firesteel Director, Erin, shows off a Hangout live on her phone!
Firesteel and the YWCA Seattle I King I Snohomish hosted two Washington governor candidate Hangouts to discuss issues that women prioritize. Democratic candidate Jay Inslee joined us on 10/3 and Republican candidate Rob McKenna joined us on 10/5. If you're curious to learn about Hangouts, here's a behind the scenes look at our #YWHangouts with the candidates. Scroll down to view the final videos and inform your vote!
It's summer movie blockbuster time! With movies on the brain, I've compiled a handful of more recent movies that explore stories of homelessness. Some are now out on video while others are yet to be released. Some are local to the Seattle area and others take place in different parts of the world. Get ready to be challenged and inspired at the same time!
I attended my very first Seattle/King County Coalition On Homelessness meeting last Thursday. The Coalition invited state legislators to attend the meeting so that we could thank them for their hard work in 2012. Having legislators present also provided us with the opportunity to ask questions and have a frank policy discussion with decision makers. I posed a question asking how we can better use social media to communicate with and influence policymakers. I received a 5 step answer in response.
In the week leading up to the Pride Parade in Seattle, we continue our series, "Participating & Proud." YWCA Seattle I King I Snohomish staff and volunteers are participating in the parade this upcoming Sunday and we will take you through many of the reaons why it is important to do so. Nora Johnson, a Family Advocate at the YWCA I Seattle I King I Snohomish Family Village in Mountlake Terrace, highlights some of the federal housing policy changes to address the needs of LGBTQ communities.
Today’s post was written by Samantha Tripoli, Health Access & Volunteer Services Coordinator for YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish, who attended the 22nd Annual Conference on Ending Homelessness in Washington State held in Yakima last week. Read on to find out more on ways nonprofits can benefit from using social media and games in their advocacy.
Sheryl WuDunn, Pulitzer Prize winner and co-author of New York Times best-selling book, "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide", was the guest speaker at the YWCA Inspire Luncheon in Seattle this year! At the Luncheon, Sheryl and Firesteel Director Erin Murphy had the opportunity to discuss marketing and advocacy through social media and other innovative strategies. Today we will get to see this interview and also hear from Firesteel marketing Intern Kelsie Reidy about Innovative Advocacy!
Carey Fuller manages multiple social media accounts with vibrant online communities. She is also experiencing homelessness. Living in Kent, WA, with her two daughters, Carey shares her perspective on online community and social media advocacy that can positively impact the homeless community.
We are seeing technology used more and more to do something about homelessness. The Department of Veterans Affairs announced within the last few days a new Innovation Initiative competition for an app that will "provide easy access to resources that the homeless need, when they need it, and where they can get it."Project Reach (Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless) challenges contestants to create a free and accessible app that shares real-time information on where someone can meet basic needs such as a bed or place to eat. This tech competition comes on the heels of the South by Southwest Homeless Hotspots, the controversial digital take on a street newspaper model. Here I'll share a bit more on these two tech projects that address homelessness, along with a few more that have been around longer.
Firesteel is a statewide partnership with participating YWCAs from all over Washington. We are small organizations and we are really large organizations. We are in rural communities and urban ones. Some of us have lots of social media accounts and some of us have very few. Yet we all share the same mission and seek to empower women in our communities. The YWCA of Walla Walla is a relatively small organization serving a small community in Eastern Washington. While they have tremendous support locally and are efficient with existing resources, they hope to effect real change on a greater level through the Firesteel partnership. Kate Morrison, the Walla Walla YWCA contact shares why her YWCA is excited about Firesteel.