Chapter 3: How to talk about ending homelessness

Tough questions: addressing stigmas and misinformation

Most difficult questions are rooted in stigmas and misinformation, whether they are about the root causes of our homelessness crisis or about people experiencing homelessness. These can be upsetting and frustrating to encounter, but we have ways to respond and guide conversations to a productive destination.

There are a number of stigmas and myths about homelessness that are widespread and deeply felt.

They often are the biggest barrier to our work. But we can fight them by spotting them, understanding where they originate, preparing to respond to and neutralize them, and avoiding perpetuating them.

Given how the prevalence of these stigmas, we’re bound to encounter them. Not everyone who repeats them is inherently hateful or incapable of unlearning them.

In order to redirect a question that repeats or reinforces a harmful stigma or perpetuates misinformation, we can address the issue, provide accurate information, and model empathy.

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Chapter 4

Getting involved

The most common question we receive is: “What can I do to help?” We all have a role to play in ending homelessness, and everyone brings unique skills, perspectives, and experiences to our shared work. Our campaign is centered around community organizing, which brings people together to advocate for systemic change and solutions.

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