Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Faces of Homelessness

Here's something cool that was brought to my attention by my friends over at Healthcare for the Homeless.

If you or your organization is interested in learning more about homelessness from people who have direct experience with it, contact the Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau – Baltimore.


From: Lindsay Callahan Vanderheiden, Healthcare for the Homeless

Founded by the National Coalition for the Homeless out of Washington D.C., the “Faces of Homelessness” Speakers’ Bureau is a public education program about homelessness and what can be done to end it. The speakers are individuals who have personally experienced homelessness, and are the true experts on the topic. The Bureau builds opportunities for the speakers to advocate for themselves and others and to build bridges within the community. In 2009, the “Faces” Bureau spoke to approximately 390 groups – a combined audience of over 20,500 people from over 40 states. Currently the “Faces of Homelessness” Speakers’ Bureau is based out of 16 states in the U.S.

Using their own experiences, our diverse speakers put a human “face” on homelessness dispelling the stereotypes many people have regarding persons experiencing homelessness. By fostering an environment of self-worth, respect and understanding for all people, the “Faces of Homelessness” Speakers’ Bureau challenges us to believe that we can and should end homelessness.

A standard presentation includes up to three panelists with firsthand experience of homelessness and a discussion moderator. While presentations can be customized for particular groups, classes, or events, presentations typically follow this outline:

• Introduction and Stereotypes (5-10 minutes)
• Speaker Testimonies from 2-3 speakers (10-20 minutes each)
• Question and Answer (15+ minutes)

For more information on hosting a “Faces of Homelessness” Speakers’ Bureau panel, please contact:

Lindsay Callahan Vanderheiden
Health Care for the Homeless
(443) 703-1349

The Faces of Homeless Speakers’ Bureau – Baltimore is a collaborative project of Healthcare for the Homeless, National Coalition for the Homeless, AmeriCorps, and St. Vincent de Paul Baltimore.


(Photo above from the National Walk to End Homelessness, Washington, D.C., 2008)


  1. I love your blog...I am the AmeriCorps*VISTA Speakers' Bureau Coordinator for Charlotte County, Florida. I would love to speak with you about your work and experience doing this...as I am new. Kelly.Hunter@cchomelesscoalition.org
    One Love.