project leader
Liz F
Community Health Services
(Strip District)
latest update rss
THANK YOU!! Our First Pilot Workshop Was a Huge Success!

the project

The systems surrounding homelessness and housing services in Pittsburgh are complicated and often challenging to navigate. Our project brings together service providers and clients into one space in order to creatively and unflinchingly understand these challenges, while envisioning and rehearsing alternative strategies to overcome them. We believe that those who are directly impacted by homelessness and unstable housing should have an equal voice in developing the systems and services that will directly benefit them.

Bridges Home brings together homeless service providers and clients in a unique opportunity to share experiences while envisioning and rehearsing strategies to make positive change. In a series of workshops, we will utilize techniques from the Theatre of the Oppressed (TO), a theatrical practice developed in the 1970’s by Brazilian theatre director Augusto Boal in which participants analyze systems of oppression, share stories of oppression from their own lives, and rehearse strategies to overcome these systems and make positive change in the world. Boal’s approach is used across the globe in a variety of fields and contexts, including: politics, therapy, conflict resolution, and education.

Our goals for these workshops are to develop an inclusive community of stakeholders, beginning with service providers and people experiencing homelessness, and later expanding to include policy makers, neighborhood residents, businesses, and the police force; as well as to empower those most impacted by homelessness and unstable housing to speak their truths and become active agents of change in improving services and systems to overcome oppression.

the steps

Spring 2018-Winter 2019: Meet with service providers and begin to develop an Advisory Board to help us better understand the systems surrounding homelessness and craft creative and inclusive TO workshops that will be relevant for this topic and community.


Spring 2019-Fall 2019: Pilot workshops in which we bring together service providers and clients to experience TO and share their experiences with the systems surrounding homelessness. We will also continue to build our Advisory Board to include clients and others with direct experience with homelessness. 

We hope to begin our initial workshops for service providers and clients in April. We have a few options for locations and support from the organizations mentioned above but will not begin the workshops until we can obtain funding as we want to ensure that we can provide services to improve accessibility (such as childcare) and compensation for clients.

why we're doing it

In our early stages of this project, we met with service providers from three different organizations: Northside Common Ministries, Project SILK, and CHS (Community Human Services). Representatives from all of these organizations spoke of the challenges both service providers and clients face, highlighting especially issues of communication and agency. Though service providers and clients are on the ground everyday experiencing the realities of housing instability, in larger discussions between policy makers and funders, they are rarely approached for ideas or feedback about strategies to improve or alter services around homelessness and housing. 

Our project centers these marginalized voices using dramatic storytelling and creative risk-taking from theatre for social change methods like Theatre of the Oppressed. In later stages, we will develop public performances inspired by the lived experiences of service providers and clients. We will share these performances with other stakeholders and use them as opportunities to imagine and rehearse alternative strategies to overcoming oppression and the challenges of homelessness and unstable housing, hopefully leading to real policy changes.


Disbursed Budget:

Compensation for clients - $300
Food - $52.22
Port Authority Bus Passes - $49
Percentage for fiscal sponsor: $19.35
Compensation for facilitators - $224.48

TOTAL RAISED = $665.00
ioby Platform Fee waived
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $19.95

Original Budget:

Compensation for clients: $50 per 2/hr session. 1 sessions with a total of 6 client participants = $300

Food: $100 per session = $100

Transportation: $7 for Port Authority day passes x 6 = $42

Facilitator Stipend: Two facilitators for a 2hr workshop, including planning = $300

TOTAL = $742

ioby Platform Fee waived
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $23



THANK YOU!! Our First Pilot Workshop Was a Huge Success!

Thank you again to everyone who donated to ensure that our first pilot workshop could take place on Friday, May 10! 

Although we did not quite meet our funding goal (so close!), we were able to compensate 6 "client" participants (people with lived experience of homelessness), provide bus passes, snacks, and even provide some compensation for our facilitators. 

We had a wonderful group of folks, representing a variety of organizations and experiences in the community. Participants responded positively to the exercises we shared and our discussion was just getting warmed up as we began to share experiences of

 the housing system. We ended the workshop wanting more - more sharing, more empathy, and more people and communities to share our stories with.

This is just the beginning of this project and we are so grateful to everyone who donated for making it happen!

Our first workshop is scheduled for May 10!

Thank you so much to those who have already donated to our project! We're so excited to share that our first workshop is scheduled for Friday, My 10 at Community Health Services. For this workshop, we'll bring together 12 service providers and clients to share their experiences and begin working together to understand how oppression operates in our housing systems.

So far, your donations in the amount of $305 will cover the $50 compensation for people with lived experiences with homelessness and unstable housing to attend the workshop and share their time and expertise! Hooray!

Please consider donating if you haven't already so that we can provide Port Authority bus passes, food for the workshop, and compensation for faciltiators. 



This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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