Life on the Streets: Voices of the Homeless of Silicon Valley

Health System

For Immediate Release

July 9, 2018

 

Health System

Santa Clara County, CA. The Valley Homeless Healthcare Program has been interested in getting their patients to tell their stories for many years. Story telling can be healing for both the story teller and listener. Yet for most people experiencing homelessness, lives are lived on the fringes, voices are left unheard, and opportunities for the larger community to understand are lost. 

In a collaboration with StoryCorps, the Valley Homeless Healthcare Program (VHHP) is presenting the voices of people experiencing homelessness. The goal is to shine a light on the humanity of the most vulnerable members of our society. VHHP staff recorded patients, other staff members, and community partners who help assist the homeless.  Sixty audio recordings have been made and because it is a massive project, many of the recordings are still be edited. The moving stories about people who have been or are homeless are available online. The recorded stories include:  

  • In this heart-wrenching story, Jesse describes his childhood trauma and how it connected to the 28 years he spent in prison. He also describes his personal healing process and the power of forgiveness.
  • Henry was born addicted to heroin, was raised in foster care, and spent 27 years in prison. Despite not being able to read or write, he found poetry, and composed over 500 poems in his head. It has become a powerful means to express his voice, and heal his wounds.
  • Paul discusses his journey from drug use and homelessness to recovery. Now he is helping others as a Mental Health Peer Support Counselor for the Office of Supportive Housing in Santa Clara County, California.

If media is interested in covering this project, please contact Joy Alexiou to arrange interviews with Valley Homeless Healthcare Program staff and one of the individuals who told their story. To listen to the Podcast - lifeonthestreets.buzzsprout.com

About Valley Homeless Healthcare Program

Valley Homeless Healthcare Program provides homeless healthcare in Santa Clara County. We have multiple access points including fixed clinic sites, mobile health centers, a teen mobile clinic, a gender clinic, suboxone clinic, medical respite and backpack medicine. Our multidisciplinary, integrated staff provide compassionate, patient centered care.

About StoryCorps

StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. This work is done to remind each other of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between people, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters. At the same time, we are creating an invaluable archive for future generations.

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