Last night, Los Angeles was buzzing as new stars took to the stage for their CSH Speak Up! graduation ceremony. In front of a packed house, the 15 members of the CSH Speak Up! class of 2018 opened up about their journey from homelessness to stability to advocacy, focusing on the impact supportive housing has had on their lives. And sharing why they decided to speak up and out for those still experiencing homelessness.
The event was hosted in partnership with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ Everyone In coalition, a countywide initiative bringing together leaders and voices across LA County to keep the best solutions to end homelessness moving forward.
Now in its fifth year, CSH Speak Up! has produced graduates who share their stories across the country, helping to drive critical public policy. Several program advocates have gone on to speak at local, state and national events, telling their personal stories of perseverance and advocating for proven solutions like supportive housing.
Speak Up’s year-long curriculum empowers supportive housing residents to become community leaders and champions for supportive housing. Through monthly workshops, one-on-one story coaching, public speaking at community events, and advocacy with elected officials, Speak Up! graduates develop skills to reclaim their lived-experience stories as messages of hope to create change.
In addition to LA, CSH sponsors Speak Up! in Chicago, Illinois, and is planning to expand the program throughout the United States.
Watch the 2018 Speak Up! graduation ceremony in LA by clicking any of the links or video below: