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.
"The Beast Inside" is one of four animated shorts produced by the Film & Family Homelessness Project. Co-director and animator Drew Christie told us that making this film helped him understand how "institutional racism, bigotry, misunderstandings and fear" contribute to homelessness.
Seattle University's Film & Family Homelessness Project worked with six Seattle-area filmmakers to produce four beautiful animated films revealing different aspects of living with poverty and homelessness. The stories were informed by families who have first-hand experience with these challenges. Developing these films was a learning process for the filmmakers, and we invited them to share lessons they came away with. Read their reflections and watch the American Refugees films.
We’ve been hearing questions about blogging from our nonprofit colleagues, so today on Spark Change we're laying out why launching a blog can be a great idea -- and why it might not be right for you! We also share some best practices and content ideas for those who decide to take the plunge into the blogosphere.
Susan Russell is a Real Change vendor and member of the Homeless Speakers Bureau. Image credit: Still capture from video by Anissa Amalia.
Have you heard about Real Change’s Homeless Speakers Bureau? It’s a group of homeless and formerly homeless people who speak about their personal experiences with homelessness. Speakers help educate the public, facilitate conversation, and inspire social action. Susan Russell, a Speakers Bureau member and passionate advocate, wrote this excellent post about why she speaks up about homelessness.
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.
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.
Sideways rain soaked our clothes, and wind threatened to send our unsturdy blue plastic tent smashing into the steps of the Capitol building. Why were dozens of housing advocates huddled around a gong in that nasty weather?
When Thomas was living in a homeless shelter in Tacoma, he saved up to get an apartment. He had first and last months' rent, a deposit, and enough money for three tenant screening fees each month. An error on his screening report got him rejected by landlords time after time, though, and he spent hundreds of dollars on tenant screening reports. Thomas was stuck in the shelter months longer than he needed to be. A proposed law making its way through the legislature solves this problem by creating portable screening reports -- find out what you can do to support this solution!
“Unselfies” and photo booths make advocacy fun! We’ve seen an explosion of selfies, or self-portraits, as camera phones have become ubiquitous and people want to share photos of themselves on networks like Facebook and Instagram. Now, nonprofits have flipped the term and asked people to share unselfies -- photos of themselves advocating for a cause. In today’s Spark Change Podcast, we share our experiences with unselfies, as well as photo booths for advocacy.
Each year, volunteers across the country fan out through their communities to count people who are sleeping outdoors. 3,117 homeless men, women and children were out in the cold in King County between 2 and 5 a.m. today.
Real Change, a homeless empowerment project and newspaper based in Seattle, organizes a "Sounding of the Gong" event the morning after the count to bring attention to the problem of homelessness. Firesteel spoke with Real Change Founding Director Tim Harris about the count results, which reflected a 14 percent increase from 2013 in the number of people sleeping outdoors. We also interviewed Rachael Myers, Executive Director of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, about advocacy efforts to end homelessness in Washington state. Join Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day on Jan. 28 in Olympia to meet your legislators and encourage them to support policies that will end homelessness.
Calling all twitterers and Facebook fans! Social networks are a great place to share your thoughts on housing, and to rally your friends to advocate for policies that will end homelessness. Take social media to the next level! Join our free Social Media 201 Google+ Hangout this Monday, Jan. 13.
Short videos are easy to make and share with smartphones, and they can have a big impact because of their power to create an emotional connection between viewers and people they're watching. In this podcast, we share tips for producing and distributing simple advocacy videos.
Interactive content, such as polls, quizzes and photo contests, are effective ways to increase engagement. In this podcast, we share ideas for using interactive content creation tools like SnapApp to advance advocacy.
In our very first podcast, Erin Murphy and Denise Miller of Firesteel share ideas for using Google+ Hangouts to advance advocacy. Hangouts are a very accessible way to connect people, wherever they are, and to create an archive of their video conversations.
At Firesteel, we test a lot of new media tools as we mobilize our community to advocate for an end to homelessness. The purpose of the Spark Change Podcast is to share what we've learned, and to help other advocates use these tools.
Sue's former partner seemed like a nice guy at first. When they moved in together, though, the difference was night and day. He beat her so badly that she frequented the emergency room. He completely controlled her finances, and isolated her from her friends and family so she was trapped. On this last day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, hear Sue's story, and find out what you can do to help end the cycle of abuse.
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.