By the Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative
A comic book that tells our stories is hitting the streets Feb. 2 in the hands of Street Roots’ vendors on campus and throughout the community.
The comic shares a series of stories of Portland State University students not often told — stories of homelessness and housing insecurity told by those who experienced it in collaboration with artists. The stories are intimate and powerful.
Kacy McKinney, a PSU faculty member in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, created the project to help inspire changes in the way we talk, think, and teach about poverty, she said in an article in Portland State Magazine.
“Our research team wanted to change the narrative around student housing insecurity and homelessness,” she said.
Beginning Feb. 2, the Portland State community can purchase copies of the comic book that features 10 student stories, each crafted by a different artist (find a vendor). Street Roots is featuring many of the artists in articles leading up to the release. (You can find the latest artist profile in Street Roots on Jan. 26.)
The stories will also be featured in two exhibits next month:
- The Downstairs Gallery, 124 SW Yamhill Street, Portland. Feb. 12 from 5-8 p.m. (open to the public), and Feb. 13 from 12-8 p.m. (private viewings by appointment). Visit: www.thedownstairspdx.com to schedule a viewing on Feb. 13. Free and open to the public. Masks required. This exhibition is in partnership with the Downstairs Gallery and artist Daren Todd.
- PSU Native American Student and Community Center, 710 SW Jackson Street, Portland. Feb. 15 to 28 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free and open to PSU faculty, staff, and students with ID. Masks required.
The project was made possible through a grant from PSU’s Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative and support from Street Roots and Independent Publishing Resource Center. The comic book also received a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council. The exhibitions received support from PSU’s Center for Urban Studies in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning. Learn more about this collaborative storytelling project.
The Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative (HRAC) addresses the challenges of homelessness through research that uncovers conditions that lead to and perpetuate homelessness. Its goal is to help reduce homelessness and its negative impacts on individuals, families and communities, with an emphasis on communities of color.