Learn about Affordable Housing, Displacement, Gentrification, Poverty, Hunger, and other struggles we face in our country.
This program is made up of individuals who have (or are currently) experienced homelessness, and who are willing to share their experiences. A coalition staff member accompanies the speaker and provides factual information on the homeless crisis in our community and beyond, while the speaker’s story helps to personalize the issue. To schedule a speaker during your event, register online: https://cincihomeless.org/please-register-your-education-event-here/ or contact Dr. Mark Mussman at MarkMussman@cincihomeless.org
Melissa joined the Speaker’s Bureau in 2015. Melissa is a engaging community member who wears many hats – speaker, mother, and Streetvibes Distributor, just to name a few. Melissa had lived on the streets of Over-the-Rhine for many years but now she is experiencing housing insecurity due to displacement in the West End. Today, she is using her bright personality and hardworking attitude to create a better life for herself and her family. She brings her story to those it can help, by building empathy and solidarity across communities.
Samuel Jackson has been working with the Speaker’s Bureau for many years. Also a top Streetvibes distributor, Sam has told his story to hundreds of people. Samuel is a graduate of Xavier University.
Willa has been a part of the Speaker’s Bureau for many years. Willa’s book, My Life in Poem, is the centerpiece of her storytelling. Her upbeat attitude and fun way of presenting her story is sure to light up any room. You might find her at Findlay Market distributing Streetvibes and selling her book.
Cleo has been sober for more than 25 years and uses humor to tell his story in a unique way. Between his jokes and affable smile, you will learn a lot about his journey through addiction and homelessness. Cleo has been a Streetvibes Distributor since 2003, and has stable housing through Tender Mercies. You might see him around town with his red clown nose cheering everyone up with his jokes.
Dionna has been with the Speaker’s Bureau for a couple of years, after dedicating her support to Affordable Housing. Currently, she is working on her degree at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Her artwork can be found at fundraising events for Over-the-Rhine Community Housing and the Homeless Coalition, as well as, at Algin Retro Furniture in Downtown Cincinnati. Dionna is dedicated to building a stronger community through affordable housing, art, and mutual respect.