The Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance partnered with the Dallas Public Library to bring me in for an afternoon to present on homelessness and digital inclusion. I really was not sure I would be able to make this vlog happen but I am pleased with how it turned out.
A few of the key points made in this video that are so important I am reinforcing here:
– turn problems into opportunities
– create community
– listen to learn what homeless people really need
– trust and respect creates trust and respect
– a smartphone is a tool that people use to better their lives
Libraries in most every community have become day centers for people experiencing homelessness. Often, homeless shelters kick people out during the daytime so when faced with no place to go, homeless people migrate to any safe environment that provides bathrooms and an escape from bad weather.
In this video, Jo Giudice, the Director of the Dallas Public Libraries shares candidly about the problem the library was facing and how they made simple changes to turn those problems into opportunities. The Dallas Public Library now offers specialized services and events that include a help desk and a designated area for homeless people to engage with library staff. You can learn more here.
I also interview Heather Lowe, Adult Services Administrator at J. Erik Jonsson Central Library about the services they offer and the importance of Internet access to homeless people. Digital inclusion is now this big sexy term people use to describe the challenges people with low or no income experience trying to access the internet. It’s an important conversation but often homeless people are not included. How can one better your life if you cannot get access to the internet?
Special thanks to David Gruber from Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance
Very special thanks to Andrew Olsen from Russ Reid Agency for bringing me to Dallas.