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Jane

Jung
11/7/15
B IMD 350 Studio Elements
Project Validation


Project RUSH is an art project that focuses in the dehumanization of the homeless in
Seattle. For the validation process, I did research on similar projects in the Seattle area and
interviewed a worker from a homelessness agency in King County.

As I was browsing the internet, I came across All Homes website, which is an agency in
King County that works to end homelessness. On their homepage, there are many infographics
that proves that homelessness is a crisis in King County. In 2015 alone, nearly 10,000 people
are experiencing homelessness on any given day, and nearly 40 percent are unsheltered (All).
On January 23, 2015, the One Night Count in King County tallied 3,772 people living
unsheltered, on sidewalks, in cars, and tents (All). Looking at this data led me to contact All
Home for an interview because I wanted to find out more about this agency. I felt that speaking
with a representative would be a gateway to finding out how to make my project more
successful.

I had a 20-minute phone interview with Danielle Winslow, an assistant director at All
Home. Since every demographic has different needs, All Home is broken into teams with
separate focuses such as single moms, children, and families facing homelessness. Danielles
focus is on families. When asked to describe what All Home is, she said they are all about
bringing people together, policy setting, and they are highly data driven. They analyze data
from a variety of database systems (ex: Homeless Management Information System) and create
visual representations of the data to inform stakeholders and achieve their goal of making
homelessness rare, brief, and one-time. She further explained to me that All Home is
undergoing a name change to Committee to end homelessness. This is to create a
collaborative way to work together by bringing together different funders to end homelessness.
They have a four-year plan to end homelessness through community engagement strategies. I
next asked her what online platforms have had success with All Home. She listed social media
sites, local newspapers, and community engagement strategies, but the one thing that really
caught my attention was when she advised to hit people close to home with data. For example,
opposed to reading that 10,000 people are homeless, people are more likely to react when they
learn that 10 people at their school is homeless. This led me to think of having another feature
on my website: an interactive map that shows the number of homeless people in the selected
region in the Seattle area. For the few remaining minutes of the interview, I asked her what
people can do to help All Home. She said that since they are an agency, there is not much to do
to help them, but some other ways of getting involved in the project to end homelessness is to
look into non-profits and think of ways to integrate this crisis into every day life. She said that
money is not the only option; we must all think of little things we can do to help. Because of
this advice, I will be adding a how you can be a part of the change section on my website,
instead of just having a donation link. The last interesting thing Danielle told me was about a
new legislation that just passed called Best Starts for Kids. Best Starts for Kids is an initiative
to improve the health and well-being of King County by investing in prevention and early
intervention for children, youth, families, and communities. A portion of the first years levy

funds will be used to create a youth and family homelessness prevention initiative modeled on
a successful pilot project led by the Gates Foundation (Constantine). She told me that another
way to end homelessness is to have your voice be heard through legislation. With the help of
government officials, we can put an end to homelessness. I have never thought about
government officials being stakeholders. I will be adding them as a user for my website.

When I explained to Danielle what Project RUSH is, she shared another website with me
called Facing Homelessness. It is a project that is highly similar to mine. Their mission is to
remove the negative stereotype against those living on the streets; they have an interactive
gallery of portraits of the homeless. Since this project is so similar to mine, I examined their
webpage for ideas. They have a donate page that links to PayPal, a contact page, an
exposure page that informs users to contact them if they would like to get involved in one of
their community events, and a be the change page that has information on how to help. I
think that having an event page would make a positive impact on my website. I will have it list
local community events related to homelessness. This will be useful for the activist personas
since they like to get involved.

After having performed the validation process, I am more confident that the needs and
wants of my stakeholders will be met through my website. I have thought of more useful
features to add and more user personas. I learned that there are many efforts being taken
within my community to cease homelessness. The most important strategy for this plan is
community engagement. I need to figure out how to implement community engagement in my
project so that users are more inclined to help make a change.






















Works Cited
All Home . N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Nov. 2015.
Constantine, Dow. "Best Starts for Kids." King County. N.p., 5 Nov. 2015. Web. 8 Nov. 2015.
Facing Homelessness. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Nov. 2015.