A Homeless Bill of Rights
Information Gathering was a class required of all journalism majors at the time I took it. The final project for the class was creating an annotated bibliography comprised of 20 credible sources, an essay outline and a 12-page argumentative essay on a public policy issue of our choosing. The purpose of the project was to develop the research skills needed for more advanced studies in mass communications and for working in the media world.
The issue I chose was the rights of the unhoused with a focus on whether the city of McMinnville should adopt a Homeless Bill of Rights. My sources ranged from Eric Tars, the senior attorney at National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty in Washington D.C.; to Peter Edelman’s book, Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America; peer reviewed journal articles; to city council meetings; to conversations with the director of a shelter for the unhoused; and a personal conversations with a man who prefers life on the streets to living in a shelter or home.
This was by far, the toughest writing project of my college career. Not only did it challenge me as a writer, it gave me a long hard look at the difficulties faced by those experiencing homelessness.