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Seattle Times’ “Project Homeless” Explores Solutions

Seattle Foundation partners on effort to deepen coverage and conversation on homelessness crisis


November 01, 2017

By Mary Grace Roske, Vice President, Marketing and Communications

With Seattle Foundation as a key sponsor, The Seattle Times recently launched “Project Homeless,” an ambitious, community-funded initiative to deepen coverage and conversation on the region’s homelessness crisis. The project will focus on the regional response to homelessness and the explore solutions in a long-term effort shift public discourse on this complex problem. The first coverage ran on Oct. 26, and its in-depth reporting, data and analysis demonstrates the “solutions journalism” approach the series will take to help the region understand and address homelessness. Solutions journalism is an approach to reporting that:

• Focuses in-depth on a meaningful response to a problem;

• Focuses on effectiveness, not good intentions, presenting available evidence of results;

• Discusses the limitations of the approach;

• Seeks to provide insight that others can use.

This partnership is a good opportunity for Seattle Foundation to be directly involved in the issue of homelessness in a way that is aligned with our approach to change at the systems-level. Solutions journalism looks at issues through the lens of identifying and advancing systemic change and we are excited to see how this two-year project may impact our community.

“Project Homeless” is led by veteran Seattle Times Journalist Jonathan Martin. The skilled team includes reporters Vianna Davila, who joined the Times from the San Antonio Express News, and Vernal Coleman, who joined the paper in 2015 and is a general assignment reporter focused on homelessness. The team will also include Scott Greenstone as the engagement editor and producer, a role focused on engaging the community in-person and digitally.

This project is modeled after The Seattle Times Education Lab, which launched in 2013 and continues today with underwriting from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Education Lab features solutions-oriented reporting on challenges in Washington state’s public education system. The Seattle Times has editorial control of all community-funded journalism initiatives.

Project Homeless is community-funded journalism with support from Campion Advocacy Fund, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Raikes Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation, the Seattle Mariners, Starbucks and Seattle Foundation. For additional details on community-funded journalism projects and “Project Homeless,” visit https://company.seattletimes.com/community-impact/.

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Community Issues

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affordable housingBasic NeedsHomelessness

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