# The Conversation

Welcome to (Un)Sheltered + Conversations!

Below are the photos, video, and text response to the stories of the (Un)Sheltered + Conversations participants .

  • From Jessica on Conversation 01: Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

    Homelessness is not some monolithic marker of identity. To become homeless is to endure specific subject experiences usually dealing with trauma, loss of ability or lack of assistance which result in a person not being to secure shelter. Oftentimes I feel peoples stigma about homelessness revolves around a discourse which describes those affected by homelessnesss as marked by qualities such as laziness, or mental instability. Marked as other this perpetuates them as outsiders who are “unable” to perform normatively within social structures. These discourses however are only valid when “homelessness” is viewed through the lens of the homeless subject being a cis male white middle aged man. When the subject of homelessness is reframed through this lens and revealed to be a teen we see clearly that this rhetoric of laziness falls flat, empty and meaningless. Systemic hegemonic issues are to blame not individuals ability or lack thereof.

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    2017/05/08 at 7:12 pm
  • From Cat on Conversation 07: Paying it Forward

    I love this concept of cultivating nurturing relationships NOW. On both a neurobiological and developmental level, caring relationships are key to empowering youth to find their confidence and sense of safety in the world. The optimist in me believes that we can all implement this ideology into our education system, social services, community programs, and personal relationships to literally change brain chemistry and support youth through this bumpy journey we call life.

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    2017/04/16 at 12:18 pm
  • From Cat on Conversation 06: Struggle ≠ Journey

    I appreciate this conversation about being alone and isolated. I think any struggle or hardship is even more challenging without support from family, friends, or community organizations. I believe we are inherently social beings who need other human beings’ warmth and love to thrive and overcome life’s barriers.

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    2017/04/16 at 12:12 pm
  • From Cat on Conversation 04: Collective Responsibility

    I really love the concept of a child being able to be a child. It is so important for our development as human beings. I also think the creation healthy spaces run by individuals who may not have a biological or familial connection is crucial in allowing the concepts of love, play, and safety to cultivate.

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    2017/04/16 at 12:05 pm
    • From Christine on Conversation 04: Collective Responsibility

      I 100% agree, allowing children to be children is so critical. Kids need to have safe spaces to learn how to be in relationships, how to communicate, and how regulate emotions, and how to do that in a healthy way. You don’t have to be a biological parent to be able to care for a young person, and sometimes those safe adults can be more influential that biological relatives because of that. Those adults who are able to look a child, wholly unrelated to them, and tell them “I see you and I care about you, simply because you deserve that as a human,” and actually get the child to believe them and that they deserve that – those people are truly heroes.

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      2017/04/20 at 4:49 pm
  • From Cat on Conversation 01: Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

    I think about the misrepresentation of homeless youth and teenagers in the following realm. There are individuals who may have a home and a bed to sleep in but are not accepted by their families/caregivers because of their gender identity or sexuality. The very traumatic dilemma then becomes: Endure the emotional hardship of masking your identity or find somewhere else to sleep at night, even if it means the streets.

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    2017/04/16 at 11:14 am
  • From Thy on Conversation 05: Rethinking Homelessness

    I totally agree that we should not fall for the myths that make us doubt our abilities, and the struggles of others. Instead, we need to have more faith in ourselves, open our minds and listen to the stories of those who are struggling. And we totally need to think about/change the methods of how we approach and solve these problems. There are many so-called “supportive” organizations and programs that were supposed to help and assist people but aren’t very helpful at all. They set their standards and eligibility too high and too difficult. They also give out very limited options. Moreover, some people working for those organizations/programs are not willing to help, unless the in-need falls into a certain category, because they believe those myths.

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    2017/04/14 at 9:45 pm
  • From Em on Conversation 08: Resisting the Pedestal

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    2017/04/14 at 3:54 pm
  • From sh on Conversation 02: Consistent Access to Resources

    This was incredibly moving to listen to. We as humans really do need the recognition and compassion of our neighbors. Watching this, I realize how tied that sense of belonging is to having a safe place and shelter. The isolation that you describe is terrifying. This conversation really gave me a sense of how crucial it is just to recognize and respond to the basic human dignity in each other. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    2017/04/13 at 8:07 pm
    • From Cat on Conversation 02: Consistent Access to Resources

      I think the word human dignity is so relevant here. My question now is, why are individuals who may not be impacted by homelessness so separated from offering this human connection and compassion to individuals living on the street? When I think of this I picture the scenario of – individual sitting on the sidewalk with person after person walking by. Ignoring. Is this a reflection of what these individuals feel inside? Or is the person walking by feeling a sense of helplessness thinking – this makes me uncomfortable and I don’t know what to do?

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      2017/04/16 at 11:25 am
  • From sh on Conversation 04: Collective Responsibility

    I really appreciate the emphasis on the community’s responsibility to children and families. I think it’s easy to fall into the “bystander effect” and, just like the speaker says, brush off someone else’s situation (“it’s not MY kid”).

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    2017/04/13 at 7:46 pm
    • From Christine on Conversation 04: Collective Responsibility

      Thank you for your comment! I think the focus on individual responsibility enforces the idea of the “other, ” instead of encouraging ways to build relationships and greater community, which would provide greater support to those in need.

      Go to comment
      2017/04/16 at 9:46 pm