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Nonprofit Launches Podcast To Increase Community's Understanding Of Homelessness

Pictured is Greg Anglea, Interfaith Community Services Veteran and Family Resource Center's executive director, on Feb. 11, 2015.
Kenny Goldberg
Pictured is Greg Anglea, Interfaith Community Services Veteran and Family Resource Center's executive director, on Feb. 11, 2015.
Nonprofit Launches Podcast To Increase Community’s Understanding Of Homelessness
North County Homeless Services Organization Launches Podcast To Increase Community's Understanding Of Homelessness GUEST: Greg Anglea, CEO, Interfaith Community Services

>>> You are listening to Midday Edition here on KPBS I am Allison St. John. We hear a lot of statistics about homelessness. For example how the numbers are changing in cities across the country. But the reality of being homeless is not in the statistics. To understand how people end up homeless you have to listen to their stories and every person who is homeless has a story. Greg Angel CEO of community-based services is on a mission to get the stories out. He has launched a podcast to do that. Thank you for joining us. Your podcast is called homeless in San Diego real people real stories it is on the web. Why did the faith community services decide to start this? >> We feel passionately about helping people connect with other people. You said it well in your introduction. Homelessness is referred to statistically. Homelessness itself is a negative label. We wanted our community members to be able to connect with individuals who are struggling with homelessness and to hear their struggles, journeys, and their remarkable strength they have to overcome homelessness. >>> What kind of things do you hope people will learn? What kind of stereotypes he hoped to be dispelled? >> We hear often that people think that everyone on the streets is mentally ill, directed that addicted to drugs and alcohol, and we find out that it is homelessness that causes mental health conditions and after someone becomes homeless they began using drugs and alcohol. We want to break those myths and really give people who have experienced homelessness a chance to tell their stories. To do that in an un-filtered, honest compelling way. >>> We have a clip from your recent podcasts. We are talking to a couple who has lived with children in a tent for a while. Until they started working with your rapid rehousing coordinators. List listen to Danielle talking about what it was like to finally find a home. >> Not having to build a tent with children while pregnant, it was nice to be home. >>> We can hear Daniels new baby in the background. What led to them becoming background -- homeless? >> Daniels husband was diagnosed with an illness. The medication he was given had a horrible side effect. It ended up partially paralyzing him. This family that was successful and lived independently went into a tailspin. He was physically unable to walk. His mental abilities decreased as a result of the side effect. He ended up losing his job. They have four beautiful children. They ended up with their last bit of dollars buying a camping pass so their children did not have to live on the streets but they could go from campground to campground. They told their kids about an adventure they were taking. These parents Dewayne and Danielle are heroes in my opinion because they were able to help their children stay in school. They made it an adventure for them. Ultimately, they were able to find housing. To address the medical condition. And to get themselves back on their feet. In the process, they found out they have another child on the way. You can hear their baby boy in the background. >>> You gave Danielle and Dewayne quite a bit of help. The initial deposit was paid, talk about how it's not only money people need to get on their feet. >> With Dewayne and Danielle, their kids were in school. They wanted to keep them in that school. They had a particular part of San Diego they wanted to rent in. They were rejected when we found the first apartment. With rapid rehousing assistance, we were able to offer a double security deposit. They were able to move into the home. They also received all of the furnishings, new beds for their kids, and household items to help make that apartment a home. >>> How is the family doing now? How much support do you offer people after they find a home? >> We offer support for anyone looking for any type of assistance. The exciting thing about these programs is they have no negative Tory guidelines on what people need to do. People are empowered to live their lives. It's up to them to be able to pay the bills and make ends meet. We will help with job assistance, access to benefits, and we will be there as someone they can talk to and properly -- problem solve with. That's what these services are about. Is giving people their lives back. Our podcast is about sharing the stories so that we can understand every person out there who has a story like Danielle and Dewayne. It will be different because it's a different person. If we give them the right tools, they can get off the street and have a life of their own with a roof over their head. >>> You also speak with some of the staff members at interfaith that help clients get off the streets. What do you think you will get from them hearing them talk about their work. >> I think it's interesting to hear the work that goes into the services and how sophisticated the system is to address homelessness. We offer this podcast through interfaith community services. We will feature a number of community services outside interfaith next week. I will record and episode with the city of Oceanside. We will bring in law enforcement, homeless court, other service providers. It is about helping the community to understand what some of the struggles are that land people in the situations and what are ways that the community can help. Every single episode have a call to action and a way for the listener to get involved in helping our neighbors experiencing homelessness. >>> You have a hotline what is the goal of that? >> We have a hotline for people to call and share and how their call of action went. In the first episode, we talked about the ways the organizations are positioned to help people to overcome the barriers for homelessness. Don't just go out there and give people stuff. Get involved with an organization that has a thoughtful strategic program in place to help people improve their lives. The hotline gives people a chance to say here's what I tried. I got involved in interfaced -- interfaith community. It also gives people a chance to call and say here is what I want to know about what is the deal with Panhandling? Should I give money? Should I not? How can I help? People want to help but they don't know how. That is what I'm trying to do with that part of our podcast is give people in the how to help the people in need. >>> Thank you for filling is in. >> Thank you for featuring it. CHICKASAW homeless in San Diego real people in real stories it is on iTunes and other podcast listings and we have a website homeless in San Diego.org. >>> Thank you, Greg. >> Thank you, Alison.

There are a lot of statistics about who becomes homeless and why. But the reality of being homeless is not in those statistics.

Greg Anglea, the CEO of Interfaith Community Services based in Escondido, believes that to really understand how people end up homeless, you have to listen to their stories. Anglea is on a mission to get those stories told. He’s launched a podcast to do just that.

It's called "Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories."

Anglea joins Midday Edition on Tuesday to discuss the mission behind the podcast and the stories he's heard so far.