Our Blog

Gain insights from our staff and partners on the latest in narrative research and grassroots communication. Hear stories from real people who have experienced homelessness and housing insecurity.

If you would like to share a story or unique insight into the housing crisis forcing so many of our neighbors into homelessness, reach out to us at info@housingnarrativelab.org.

Call Me By My Name


How Person-Centered Language Amplifies Calls To Action By Amanda J. Richer Imagine living your life as a person whose entire personhood is swapped out for an adjective that describes not who you are, but where you live. I think we can all agree that’s degrading. But describing someone’s experience certainly doesn’t have to be dehumanizing.   […]

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Share These Tested Messages in Your Community


Housing Narrative Lab is offering small grants to organizations like yours to build narrative power around the country. Housing Narrative Lab’s latest research identified narratives that help people better understand that homelessness is the result of systemic causes, such as a severe lack of affordable housing, racist and exclusionary housing policies and jobs that don’t […]

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Essentials for Transformative Narratives: Establishing Shared Values


As we continue to work together to solve homelessness and housing insecurity, many of us have come to recognize the crucial role that narrative plays in building the public will to solve homelessness. Dominant narratives about people experiencing homelessness rooted in individual failing and personal choice are harmful and lead to ineffective and sometimes dehumanizing solutions. That’s why we’re working to build a transformative narrative that recognizes that housing is a human need and necessary for everyone in our community to thrive.

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Language Matters


No matter what kind of storyteller you are, all writers are committed to telling effective stories.This is especially important when it comes to exploring sensitive topics like homelessness and housing insecurity, where the language used can be the difference between an advocacy-based piece and one that further marginalizes an already impacted group of people. 

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A Tale of Two Townships


The Mount Holly Township that I am from is not the same Mount Holly Township that writer and editor Michael Jackson grew up in. Michael and I were having a conversation on homelessness and how communities must come together to rewrite housing rules and build options people can actually afford. During our chat, we realized that we had both graduated from Rancocas Valley Regional High School. I have not in all of my years as a journalist met someone who had been so intimately familiar with Mount Holly, New Jersey.

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Conclusion of national research project identifies messages that mobilize, persuade and neutralize


The Housing Narrative Lab recently completed the third phase of our national narrative research project aimed at understanding the beliefs that people currently hold about homelessness and identifying messaging that might shift their understanding about the true causes of homelessness – from believing homelessness is caused by personal failure and bad choices to recognizing the […]

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