Posts Tagged ‘Photo Contest’

29th September
written by Catherine An

Today’s post comes from Tiago Russo Pinto, the winner of the Alliance photo contest. He shares with us the origins of the beautiful photograph and how he came upon the opportunity to take it.

The Run Home photo was part of a 2007 Bay Area Foundation Advisory Group to End Homelessness. It was a group effort to create the right image for the cover of the publication entitled, “Repairing Lives, Preparing Futures: Philanthropy’s Role in Supportive Services to End Homelessness.”

During the development of the project, the team had a concept in mind for the execution and look of the image; however, we were not sure if it would translate into what we wanted without looking staged. When I met the family featured in the photograph I knew that they would materialize our message – they had just been approved for housing and they were ready to move in a couple of months.

It was a great experience for me as a photographer because I had the chance to capture a scene that had meaning. The family in the photograph was truly feeling what the image portrayed as in real life they had conquered and fulfilled their dream. I was there just to capture their success story.

To see all the great photos submitted to the contest, check out our Flickr page. To keep up with other Alliance activities, events, or just to learn more about homelessness, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

27th September
written by Catherine An

We are delighted to announce that Tiago Russo is the winner of the Alliance’s first ever photo contest!

Tiago submitted the photo “Run Home,” a heartwarming picture of a young boy running up the stairs towards with his family in the background. Alliance staff, judges, and friends all agreed that photo evoked an enthusiasm, joy, and energy around the concept of housing and home.

The contest was a close one and we’re so appreciative of all the people who took the time to submit photos and share their thoughts on what ending homelessness really looks like. The photos you’ve shared will find their ways into Alliance reports, products, and web pages – in fact, some staff favorites will cycle through the slideshow on the Alliance’s website this week (take a look!).

Thank you so much for your participation – we couldn’t have done it without you! This was the first time the Alliance engaged with supporters and advocates online and your participation ensures that this certainly won’t be the last! Please keep your eyes out for more contests, discussions, and other requests for feedback!

Congratulations again for Tiago and many thanks to you all!

20th September
written by Catherine An

Thanks to all our wonderful fans and supporters who submitted photos for the Alliance photo contest. Our judges are reviewing all the excellent entries and while we wait for the results, we have a very special guest on the blog. Steve Berg, Vice President of Programs and Policy at the Alliance, speculates on what a country without homelessness could look like .

She’s not going to be homeless, even though her boyfriend beat her and disappeared with her money. Even though her job disappeared next, she and her babies had to move in with her mom, and now her mom’s boyfriend wants them out.

She’s not going to be homeless because the domestic violence counselor sent over a woman who mediated, found some places that were hiring, contacted a new day care center, connected her with a different landlord, and paid the security deposit and her storage bill.

She’s not going to be homeless.

She’s going to unwrap the dishes. On one of the newspapers she’s using there’s a story about The Last Homeless Person in America. She laughs, thinking, “That could have been me.” She’ll have to read it later.


He’s not going to be homeless even though he came back from overseas and couldn’t talk to anybody. Even though his girlfriend, his boss, his friends and parents all made him so furious he couldn’t be around them.

He’s not going to be homeless because the last time the doorbell rang, he let in the Veterans Affairs officer – a man who had rung twice before. Before he was ready. He’s not going to be homeless because the VA officer showed him how the Department of Veterans Affairs could help him – with job programs, benefits, landlord assistance, even a rent voucher if he can’t get work right away.

He’s not going to be homeless. He’s going to explore his options with the VA. Before he left, the VA officer showed him a newspaper clip entitled, The Last Homeless Person in America. He told him that not so long ago, tens of thousands of veterans would return from abroad only to live on the streets. “But no more,” he said. “’I will never leave a fallen comrade’ means that if it means anything.”


He’s not going to be homeless, even though he’s coming out of lockup and none of his family will take him back; even though he’s got a record now. He’s not going to be homeless even though he’s made some serious mistakes, even though he’s starting over with nothing.

He’s not going to be homeless because they have a place for him to live. It’s a group home – but it’s that or adult prison and when he gets there it’s all about getting work and getting out and into his own place.

The first day on the job they’re laughing at closing time. Laughing at the rookie cleaning the bathrooms and he laughts with them. There’s a newspaper on the floor, a story about The Last Homeless Person in America. He sweeps it up and knows that’s never going to be him.


She’s not going to be homeless, even though she stopped taking her meds, even though she started drinking more again, even though she’s back on the precipitous edge. She’s not going to be homeless because when the rent was late, her landlord called Mental Health and a whole crew of people turned out. She’s not going to be homeless because they paid the rent and they listened. They listened to her talk about how scared she was – scared of being alone, of having no place to live, of falling back to where she used to be. They listened, promised to help her no matter what, and told her they didn’t let people become homeless anymore. “Look, even this guy isn’t homeless any more,” they said, holding up a paper:

The Last Homeless Person in America
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that the last homeless person in the country has been successfully housed – bringing an end to homelessness in America. The formerly homeless person now lives in a modest apartment with access to supportive services and medical treatment. This achievement, according to the HUD Secretary, was attained by making permanent housing a central focus of HUD programs and by adopting rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention strategies on a nationwide scale.


This is a work of speculative fiction – for now. Ending homelessness in America will require us quickly and comprehensively to address the combination of vulnerability and crisis that leaves people homeless today. It will require us to elevate prevention and re-housing tools to the same national scale as our shelter systems. It will require that we invest the resources and passion necessary to confront and untangle – five thousand times a day – the personal, emotional, and physical afflictions of people who today experience homelessness.

17th September
written by Catherine An

Welcome to the Friday news roundup!

So headlining the news this week (or at least yesterday) are the poverty numbers. No surprises: poverty, uninsured, up in 2009.

The nation’s official poverty rate in 2009 was 14.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2008. The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 46.3 million in 2008 to 50.7 million in 2009, or an increase from 15.4 percent to 16.7 percent of the total population. You can check out the full report on the census website.

What’s that mean? Well, from our perspective, it means that there are more people at risk of experiencing homelessness. If you remember our brief on ”sustainable cost burden”, you know that more than half of poor families spend more than half their monthly income for housing (this is often termed “severe housing cost burden.”) You might also remember that severe housing cost burden is up among individuals and families doubled up.

With need so high, this is exactly the wrong time to be rising the elimination of TANF ECF. This job-creating service to the most vulnerable families is in danger of expiring at the end of the month. We’ve written about it before and there are daily stories cropping up the program’s importance. It seems that the program may be seeing rays of hope – but that doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels. If you haven’t already (and you better have!) call your senator today.

An interesting report shows that housing problems have become the primary subject of employee-assistance calls. According to reporting from USA Today, child care had long reigned as the subject of employee assistance calls but – staring January 2010 – housing became the primary concern.

And of course, the biggest news of the week is the ending of our photo contest! Submissions are due no later than midnight today. So get in those photos! For inspiration, check out the submissions we’ve received so far in our Flickr album.

13th September
written by Catherine An

Big news!

This is the last week to submit your entries to the Alliance photo contest!

In case you haven’t heard – and if you’re reading this blog, chances are slim that you haven’t heard – the Alliance is running a photo contest! We want to know what ending homelessness looks like to you – in a picture!

We’ve already received many great submissions from you guys and we’re really looking to receive some more! For more information about the details of the contest, the contest rules, the judges, and a link to the submission form, keep your eyes on the blog and the website. And to browse through the entries we’ve already received, check out our Flickr album.

Don’t forget! We stop taking submissions at midnight on Friday, September 17. Between now and then, keep those picture coming!

Can’t wait!

7th September
written by Catherine An

Hi everyone!

This morning, I was listening to an NPR podcast about our reliance on our digital devices. It’s the same song that’s become quite popular in the last few years – about our growing addiction to gadgets, our constant attachment to a never-ending stream of information and social networks, our world’s increasing speed and transience.

In a world of such haste, it takes discipline to slow down and take note of moments.

But this is exactly what we – with your help – are trying to accomplish with our photo contest.

I spent part of my Labor Day holiday checking out the photos people have submitted for the Alliance contest thus far. There are pictures of children, of faces, of buildings, and keys. There are pictures of families and houses and landscapes.

And in between the separate elements of the pictures – the people, the backdrop, the light – there is the moment. Somewhere in the picture a person who was once experiencing homelessness found housing. Somewhere in the picture a family resumed their lives in a stable, permanent home. Somewhere in the picture, homelessness was ended.

And while moments in this digital age zip by with hardly a status update, these are the moments that linger and define us. These are the moments that when, added up, push us towards a better reality, a richer community, a time when all people will have a safe and permanent place to call home.

For our photo contest, we’re asking you to capture these moments as they occur in your lives. So many people have already submitted their moments – but I know that there are countless more to be shared by our community of colleagues and supporters who work tirelessly everyday to end homelessness.

While we are offering prizes (see our photo contest rules), we also know that there’s an equally important end here. This is our opportunity to show that, if we’re able to slow down and take notice, we could see that homelessness is a problem with a clear and definitive solution – housing.

Thanks again for all your help in sharing that solution with the world. Can’t wait to see more of those photos.

Comments Off
26th August
written by naehblog

With the photo contest now in full swing, we thought it’d be a good time to detail for you what the contest judges are seeking. There are seven judges, five from the Alliance and 2 of our colleagues from the homelessness field.

The full panel of on-staff judges includes: Steve Berg, Vice President of Programs and Policy at the Alliance; Norm Suchar, Director of Capacity Building; Bill Sermons, Director of the Homeless Research Institute; Kimberly Walker, Capacity Building Associate; and D’Arcy Klingle, Meetings and Events Coordinator.

Most of the judges have said they are looking for a winning submission that is not only visually appealing but also tells a story. D’Arcy Klingle, one of the Alliance staff judges, says “To me, a photo should convey a message or a story without using any words, giving the viewer an emotional connection or understanding of the message behind the photo by just looking at it.” She is specifically looking for a photo that would make a great basis for a conference theme.

Some judges have said they like photos with contrast and images that evoke emotion. Bill Sermons, another Alliance staff judge, thinks participants have a challenge in submitting photos that are not only visually appealing but also depict how homelessness is being ended in local communities across the country — but he’s already impressed with some of the submissions received!

If you haven’t been able to check out our flickr album, here are some of the most recent submissions.

The photo above, submitted by Tiago Pinto, was part of a project of the Bay Area Foundation Advisory Group to End Homelessness (CA) in October 2007.

The photo to the right is of Marvin, who is holding up the keys to his new apartment after having suffered from homelessness for 5 years. Way to go Marvin!

If you would like to enter, go here!

11th August
written by Marisa Seitz

Hey guys, today we have Grace here to tell us about the Alliance’s Photo Contest!

Aren’t you excited?! To learn more, you can go to the official blog post for the contest, or you can visit the website.

To submit directly, just go here. We can’t wait to see your pictures! To see what has been submitted, visit our flickr account.

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9th August
written by Marisa Seitz

All right folks, we’ve got something new and exciting for you today. The Alliance is launching our first ever – wait for it – PHOTO CONTEST!!

That’s right, we are giving you a chance to use those picture skills and show the world your stuff!

At this seminal moment in our national effort to end homelessness, we want to know: What does ending homelessness look like to you?

We want to see how you envision ending homelessness. The concept of ending homelessness can be hard to visualize – and we want to see your take. Is it services? Housing? An specific individual or story? We want you to capture it in a picture!

What’s a contest without a prize? Yeah, we don’t know either. Considering the community we know reads our blog, we think we’ve got a great one. The winner of our photo contest will receive free registration to our next conference. In addition, the winning submission will be the basis for the design of the conference – the website design, the brochure, the program journal – you name it!

The contest will run from Monday, August 9th to Friday, September 17th. We’re giving our judges a week to decide and contact the winner – the winner will be announced on Friday, September 24. In order to enter, all you have to do is go here and fill out our simple form to enter! Full text of the contest terms and conditions are available on the website. In general , as long as your work is your own and appropriate, you shouldn’t have any problems.

So get going! To enter the contest, please submit your photo here. (Only photos submitted through the online form will be considered.) Photo contest rules can be found on the website.

This is an important year in the national effort to end homelessness and sometime soon, we can anticipate a country where everyone has a place to call home. We want to know – from YOU! – how we’re going to get there.