Advocates in Alaska are partners with radio and television news outlets to develop “A Roof,” a public media project that highlighting housing and homelessness issues in the state. The Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness, an NLIHC State Coalition Partner, and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority have teamed with KTOO, a public radio station based in Juneau, and 360 North, Alaska’s statewide public affairs television station.
“A Roof” aims to raise awareness and increase public education about housing and homelessness through news reports, web content, public affairs programming, and social media. The project intends to illuminate the issues, the work being done to address them, and the need for further solutions.
Since launched in May, “A Roof” has produced stories ranging from building momentum for permanent supportive housing development in Juneau to efforts to increase emergency housing in Unalaska, a city in the Aleutian Islands that faces dire housing needs due to regular influxes of transient workers looking for jobs in the fishing industry. The project also includes a regular series called “Housing Starts,” highlighting housing and homelessness stories in the national news.
The Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness (the Coalition) is working with “A Roof” to host several town hall meetings across the state. At each meeting they will discuss issues the Coalition is working to address, including family and youth homelessness, domestic violence, and housing development. The meetings will be streamed live on 360north.org and televised statewide on the 360 North station. The first town hall meeting, held in Juneau in July, focused on how substance abuse issues intersect with homelessness. The second town hall meeting, focusing on Housing First efforts across the country, will be broadcast and will stream live on September 29, at 7 pm Alaska Daylight Time (ADT).
360 North will also televise the Coalition’s 2014 conference in Juneau from September 29 through October 1. In addition to an array of workshops, the conference will have keynote speeches on permanent supportive housing using the Housing First model, and on trauma and homelessness. The Governor’s Council on the Homeless will also hold its meeting during the conference to encourage more public participation.
On Tuesday, September 30 at 8 pm ADT, a short film will premiere as part of the project. “Crazy” by Lisle Herbert examines the links between homelessness and mental illness. “This film’s title is ‘Crazy,’ not because it deals with mental illness but because the way we deal with mental illness and homelessness is crazy,” the filmmaker said. “A Roof” also aired an interview with Mr. Herbert discussing the film, the importance of the Housing First approach, and his hope to show the film to legislators in Alaska so they will take action to better address mental health and housing issues.
“Our partnership with KTOO, 360 North and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority is exciting,” said Scott Ciambor, Chair of the Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness. “This is a great opportunity to more widely educate the public and increase advocacy. Through ‘A Roof,’ we are working to identify issues, stories, and events of importance to help determine solutions, develop more affordable housing, and end homelessness in the state.”
“A Roof” is funded through KTOO’s Public Affairs Fund for Homelessness and Affordable Appropriate Housing, which includes contributions from the Coalition, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Juneau, in partnership with the Juneau Clean Air Coalition.
For more information, contact Scott Ciambor, email@example.com
More information about A Roof is at http://projects.360north.org/roof