“Faces of Homelessness” Speakers’ Bureau

What does the Speakers’ Bureau do?

  • Speak to religious and civic groups, youth, and service clubs about
    issues surrounding homelessness
  • Dispel myths/stereotypes
  • Educate people
  • Personalize, individualize and put a “face” on “homelessness”

We are currently in the process of recruiting and training speakers for the Speakers’ Bureau. If you have faced or are currently facing homelessness or extreme poverty and are interested in being a part of the Speakers’ Bureau, please email aria@actionn.org or call our office at (775) 453-6137.

The mission of the Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau is to provide a forum for people who have experienced homelessness to share their personal stories with others; to show who becomes homeless and why; to foster a greater awareness of the reality of not having a home in America; and to spark interest in becoming involved in the struggle to end homelessness on both a local and a national level.
Project Goals
Public perceptions and attitudes toward persons experiencing homelessness need to change in order for a positive, long-term solution to be realized. Members of the Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau play an important part in educating young people today by breaking down those stereotypes and that many people have about those experiencing homelessness.
The Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau gives audience members an opportunity to:

  • Put a human face to homelessness. Most people have never had a conversation with a homeless person and so they have not heard why that particular individual became homeless.
  • Hear a personal story, ask questions and learn about the various issues surrounding homelessness and hopefully in the process educate themselves.
  • Build bridges with people experiencing homelessness. Formerly homeless speakers have effectively described what made the difference for them personally in breaking out of the cycle of homelessness.
  • Challenge the myths of homelessness so that they may understand its realities.
  • Educate their community about homelessness by CARE-ing (Contribute, Advocate, Reach Out, and Educate).
  • Challenge themselves to end homelessness in America.

The Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau gives speakers an opportunity to:
Let their voices truly be heard

  • Play a key role in breaking down myths/stereotypes, as well as educating the public about the realities of homelessness.
  • To share their stories, provide insight, thoughts, and ideas related to homelessness and what individuals can do to make a difference.
  • Speak to youth from different ethnic, religious, economic and cultural backgrounds.
  • To empower others to action.

The Panels
The standard presentation format includes a discussion of statistics and stereotypes by the moderator, showing a video, speakers sharing their personal stories and a Q&A session. Each panel will last approximately 1-2 hours depending on the needs of the intended audience.

  1. Introduction: statistics and stereotypes
  2. Short video
  3. Panelists share their stories
  4. Q&A
  5. Discuss reports, legislation, and ways to get involved

Each speaker will receive a $50 honorarium for local speaking engagements, which includes travel costs. We ask that congregations and organizations cover as much of these honorariums as possible.

The Speakers’ Bureau resources and concept was provided by the National Coalition for the Homeless.

Image result for National Coalition for the Homeless