The Seattle Times and Path with Art hosted an evening of storytelling about homelessness and the resilience of people who lived it on Thursday, October 28.
Stories About Home featured five storytellers from across the region. Through oral storytelling, they offered a more personal and nuanced look at many of the issues facing the more than 12,000 people who live outdoors, in vehicles or in shelters across King County. .
Covering topics ranging from addiction to mental illness, survival and grief, the storytellers have helped shine a light on one of our region’s most complex issues.
You can still watch an hour-long recording of the event, hosted by Seattle Times columnist and associate editor Naomi Ishisaka.
Meet our storytellers:
Bering Sienicki is a member of the Yurok tribe and grew up in South King County. He now lives on Capitol Hill, enjoys writing, and works part-time for a thrift store, while attending college. Bering’s story centers on the five years he lived outside of Seattle and how he got off the streets and recovered.
Michelle murray is an army veteran who now lives in Olympia with her dog, Sakkara. Since leaving the military, she has struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and homelessness. Michelle’s story examines the support she found during her military service and what happens to a person when they are taken away from them.
Harold Odom is the Director of Policy and Community Outreach for the Lived Experience Coalition. He lives in a mini-house village in Georgetown, where he has been for four years. Harold’s story will focus on his survival as a homeless man, the challenges he faced and what he is doing now to improve the region’s response to the crisis.
Pat swain has spent most of her career working in real estate in Alaska, but is now retired with her husband in Port Townsend. Pat’s story will focus on her daughter, Karen, who after 20 years working in Hollywood found herself living in her car with her pets.
Cathearn “Crash” Duncan is a Colorado-born military veteran and spent most of her life moving from city to city, trying to survive as a single mother. She is currently a student at Path with Art, has a chihuahua named BooBoo, and lives in a motel in Kent. Crash’s story will focus on how she harnessed the trauma of years of abuse to make it an outlet to express her creativity.
Stories About Home was organized by the Seattle Times’ Project Homeless team, a community-funded reporting team that works to explore and explain the homeless crisis in the region, and Path With Art, a non-profit organization. Profit working in the Seattle area to foster the restoration of individuals, groups and society from the effects of trauma through artistic engagement and community development.