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Change of Address: Voices Humanize Homelessness

San Francisco Public Press
 — Jun 29 2016 - 8:00am

The city estimates that 7,539 San Franciscans lack stable housing. Lumped in a statistic, 7,539 individuals easily blur into one homogeneous identity, a single misleading notion of what it means to be “homeless.” The “Change of Address” project aims to challenge that.

In collaboration with SonicSF, a “reality news” radio show, the Public Press presents a series of audio portraits of people who are — or are on the verge of becoming — homeless.

These narratives cover a wide range of stories on housing instability. They reveal what life without a secure home can look, sound and feel like. The conversations flow from the particulars of each situation. For every person struggling with homelessness there is a unique path accompanied by their own set of ideas, passions, hopes and struggles.

“When people are on the streets they get thrown into a label,” said Michael, who has been homeless for five years. “And sometimes they start believing that label, rather than believing the truth — which is, we’re all equal.”

All eight narratives are also available on SonicSF’s website as part of the June 29 media blitz on homelessness in the Bay Area.

Production by SonicSF’s Ellison Libiran, Chloe Davidson, and Stacy Bond. Photos by Public Press photographer Hyunha Kim.

Special thanks to Lava Mae and Catholic Charities of San Francisco.

— Text by Hye-Jin Kim. Photos by Hyunha Kim