The Seattle Times and Path with Art hosted an evening of storytelling about homelessness and resilience from people who have lived it on Thursday, Oct. 28.
Stories About Home featured five storytellers from across the region. Through spoken-word storytelling, they offered a more personal and nuanced look at many of the issues facing the more than 12,000 people who are living outside, in vehicles or in shelters across King County.
Covering topics from addiction to mental illness, survival and grief, storytellers helped to shine a light on one of our region’s most complicated problems.
You can still watch a recording of the hourlong event, hosted by Seattle Times columnist and assistant managing editor Naomi Ishisaka.
Get to know our storytellers:
Bering Sienicki is a member of the Yurok Tribe and grew up in South King County. He now lives in Capitol Hill, loves to write and works part-time for a thrift store, while also attending college. Bering’s story centers on the five years he lived outside in Seattle and how he left the streets and found recovery.
Michelle Murray is an Army veteran who now lives in Olympia with her dog, Sakkara. Since leaving the military, she’s battled with post-traumatic stress disorder and homelessness. Michelle’s story looks at the support she found during her military service, and what happens to a person when that’s taken away.
Harold Odom is the director of policy and community outreach for the Lived Experience Coalition. He lives in a tiny-house village in Georgetown, where he’s been for four years. Harold’s story will focus on his survival while homeless, the challenges he faced and what he’s doing now to improve the region’s response to the crisis.
Pat Swain spent most of her career working in real estate in Alaska, but she’s now retired with her husband in Port Townsend. Pat’s story will focus on her daughter, Karen, who after 20 years of working in Hollywood found herself living in her car with her pets.
Cathearn “Crash” Duncan is a military veteran born in Colorado and has spent most of her life moving from city to city, trying to survive as a single mom. She’s currently a student with Path with Art, has a chihuahua named BooBoo and lives in a motel in Kent. Crash’s story will focus on how she has harnessed the trauma from years of abuse into an outlet to express her creativity.
Stories About Home was hosted by The Seattle Times’ Project Homeless team, a community-funded reporting team that works to explore and explain the region’s homelessness crisis, and Path With Art, a nonprofit working in the Seattle region to foster the restoration of individuals, groups and society from the effects of trauma through arts engagement and community building.