The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) speaker’s bureau program Street Voices has sent out trained speakers for 10 years. Street Voices is made up of several well-trained homeless and formerly homeless speakers who want to share their stories with your audience. With each unique tale, their goal is to expose the community to the real face of homelessness and inspire people of different ages and backgrounds to serve and get involved in their communities. They can attend a religious congregation or civic organization along with a staff member to talk about homelessness in Greater Cleveland.
Street Voices has been in existence for 10 years and has told their stories to many schools, churches and faith based organizations on a regular basis across Northeast Ohio, including:
- East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church
- Shaaray Tikvah
- Suburban Temple Kol Ami
- Louisa May Alcott School
- Sisters of Humility of Mary
- Plymouth Church
- Lakewood Congregational Church
- Among others
Typically we do 30 to 50 presentations a year. Ken Payton at NEOCH can assist with scheduling a Street Voices presentation by calling 216/432-0540 ext. 106. Each speaker receives a $25 honorarium for sharing their story. NEOCH asks each church or organization to provide the $25 to the homeless speaker, however, if the group is unable to provide the honorarium, NEOCH can assist.
In addition, with the support of the Greater Cleveland Arts and Culture funding, NEOCH developed a Moveable Wall that can compliment our speaking engagement. This is a series of panel displays of photography by people experiencing homelessness. These trained photographers captured images from their worlds and each put together a panel to represent their work.
Here are a few of our speakers promoting the program. Each has taken a half day training session on public speaking and then worked on their presentation during the summer. Each presenter is accompanied by a staff or board member from NEOCH.
Simona Lynch--we are working on a written profile for Simona.
Larry Davis coordinates the Street Voices Program and he reflects on the success of the program.