Mary Bergman, “There are Some Very Talented People on the Street,” 12 min 54 sec

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Washington, DC is home to the President of the United States, the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, the United States Supreme Court, some of the country’s best colleges, and priceless treasures like the Hope Diamond and the space capsule that took the first men to the Moon.  The streets, shelters, couches and cars of Washington, DC are also home to those who have no home. There are 15,000 unhoused people over the course of a typical year in Washington, DC.[1]

A quick Internet search can give you facts and statistics that will give you one picture of what it is like to be homeless in Washington. But these facts and figures say nothing about the unhoused and formerly homeless activists and advocates who spend their time fighting for the rights of homeless men and women in Washington, DC. In order to get their story, you have to listen.

In November of 2012, students from American University conducted Oral Histories with three such activists, Eric Sheptock, David Edwards, and Robert Warren. While all men came with different experiences and stories, there were threads of commonality that wove throughout. All are focused, driven, talented, and compassionate individuals. Stories of the importance of technology, especially the Internet, in the lives of homeless advocates may come as a surprise to the housed population. The Internet serves as a platform for reaching thousands upon thousands of people, and can serve as a space, maybe the one space people can call their own.

[1] Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, Inc., Factsheet: Homelessness and Poverty, Washington, DC

Alison Kootsra, “SHARC Advocates on the Causes of Homelessness” 14 min 58 sec

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Download the Show: SHARC Advocates

On this program you will hear the voices of advocates working with Shelter, Housing and Respectful Change or SHARC, a DC group that emphasizes self-advocacy and engages poor, homeless, formerly homeless, community activists and concerned citizens in advocacy efforts for the poor and under-privileged community.


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