A compilation of photos of Upstate South Carolina's homeless community with selected writings from Eastside High students. A project of the Faces of Homelessness Speaker's Bureau sponsored by The Upstate Homeless Coalition and Eastside High School. Each purchase of this calendar helps us as we seek to eliminate homelessness in South Carolina.
The Faces of Homelessness Speakers' Bureau is an educational project that allows the homeless & formerly homeless to tell their personal stories to the community.
The Speakers' Bureau presents to many audiences including youth, religious groups, middle schools, high schools, colleges, and community groups.
This project was created by and is directly sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless. It is implemented by Americorps VISTA volunteers in communities across the Southeast. Since January 2010, Faces of Homelessness speaker panels have educated thousands in Upstate South Carolina.
To equip the homeless and formerly homeless to share their personal stories in order to educate the Upstate community, break down myths and stereotypes, and spark interest in becoming involved in the struggle to end homelessness on the local, state, and national levels.
Presentations may be tailored to fit groups' needs and usually follow this outline:
- Greetings and Introductions
- Statistics and Stereotypes
- Video Presentation
- Panelists share experiences
- Questions and answers
- Ways you can get involved
Each panelist typically takes 10 to 15 minutes to speak. This depends on the type of group presented to, the time available, and the number of speakers. Some panelists share about their lives before they became homeless, what life was (is) like while they were homeless, what they are doing now, and their hopes for future. Others discuss what they've seen, their opinions about poverty and homelessness, and what they think should be done to end homelessness.
Since the implementation of the Speakers' Bureau, we have seen perceptions changed, volunteers mobilized, and lives impacted as a result of the powerful testimonies of our homeless and formerly homeless speakers.
- "This presentation gave me a greater insight into the plight of homeless students. The Faces of Homelessness should be required training for teachers!" Teacher, Anderson School District 5
- "What I liked most was the honesty and how much I truly learned about poverty. The presentation was extremely informational and it made me really motivated to go out and do something about homelessness." Student, Furman University Poverty Studies Class
- "I always thought that homeless people were just people that had no life and were just bums. But after today I learned that they are not all like that. They are nice and they all have a story." 7th Grade Student, Sevier Middle School
Coordinators of The Faces of Homelessness Speakers' Bureau