HCH Stories: Share Your Story!

HCH Stories

The story of Health Care for the Homeless is a momentous one–and so is yours! Share your HCH story with us: join us for a storytelling session in Boardroom East at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower during the 2016 National HCH Conference to let us know what HCH means to you. Whether you are a direct service provider, administrator, consumer, or advocate, we invite you to tell your story to contribute to the oral history of Health Care for the Homeless.

Multiple storytelling sessions are available on Wednesday, June 1, and Thursday, June 2, during #HCH2016. Learn more below, or reserve your session now!

What is HCH Stories?

HCH Stories is a digital storytelling initiative of the National HCH Council with assistance from the NCAB Storytelling Committee at the 2016 National HCH Conference. The project seeks to illuminate the stories of service providers, consumers, advocates, and administrators involved with Health Care for the Homeless (HCH). Our mission is to help storytellers share their perspective while highlighting the values and importance of HCH, and our foremost goal is to listen.

Share your story! Join us for a brief video or audio interview with Communications Coordinator Rick Brown to relate an important experience you’ve had with HCH and the impact that it has had on your life. Your story may be collected with others for an online series of #HCHStories videos, podcasts, or other materials on the National HCH Council’s website, social media, and print publications to boost awareness of the impact of homeless health care.

Preparing for Your Storytelling Session

How do I sign up for a storytelling session?

Click here to reserve a storytelling session! Numerous blocks are available on Wednesday, June 1, and Thursday, June 2. We’ll send you an email reminder 30 minutes before your appointment.


What will the storytelling session consist of?

The storytelling session will consist of a brief orientation followed by a one-on-one video or audio interview between you, the storyteller, and the facilitator in Boardroom East in the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower. You will be asked to provide a few details about yourself, and then to share an important experience you have had with Health Care for the Homeless in response to a question of your choice.

The facilitator will listen to your story and may ask a few additional questions to allow you to expand on your experience and your thoughts about Health Care for the Homeless. When the session concludes, you will be given a storyteller ribbon to commemorate your experience.

You may choose to take part in an audio or video interview, and you may choose not to participate or disallow use of your story at any time during the storytelling session.


Why should I tell my story?

We are all storytellers. As human beings, we are attuned to stories; we use them to share our experiences and to better understand those of others. Storytelling allows for self-advocacy, allowing an individual to communicate and claim their own experiences, rights, and interests–in addition to potentially influencing the views of others by using personal experiences to highlight broader issues.

We invite you to take part in a powerful opportunity to share your perspective on homelessness and health care through your lived experience. Your unique story will help put a face to Health Care for the Homeless, and by telling your story, you will help represent the diverse consumers, providers, advocates, and administrators involved in the struggle to end homelessness.

Whether your story is about the first time you received a dental exam from an HCH provider, provided a vital screening to a consumer, or took part in a rally for Health Care for the Homeless–we want to hear from you!


How can I prepare?

Think about your experiences with Health Care for the Homeless. What stands out? What was your best experience with HCH, or your first? What have you learned as a result of your involvement with HCH? Consider choosing a question from our list ahead of time to guide your story. Don’t see a prompt that relates to you? That’s alright. Craft your own!

Either way, you should pick a question that allows you to tell a story that is important to you, that is relevant to health care and homelessness, and that you feel comfortable sharing. How can you do that? You might try rehearsing your story ahead of time, or even writing an outline of your story on a note card.

Try to be brief (2-5 minutes) and give enough context for others to understand who you are, what your experience was, and how it impacted you. Be honest, and relate your emotional experience in your own voice. The facilitator will listen and take care of the recording process.

Please be sure to only share a story that you are comfortable relating; avoid stories that might trigger or harm your emotional well-being.


What prompts might I choose from?

You can download a PDF list of questions to tell a story in response to, or read the full list below. Don’t see a prompt that relates to you? That’s alright. Craft your own! Once you’ve selected a question, click here to book a session, or contact Communications Coordinator Rick Brown if you have questions or comments.

All Storytellers

  1. What was your first experience with Health Care for the Homeless?
  2. What motivated you to become involved with Health Care for the Homeless?
  3. What is the best experience you’ve had with Health Care for the Homeless?
  4. How have you learned or changed as a result of your experiences with HCH?
  5. What makes you stay with Health Care for the Homeless? (in whatever capacity that may refer to)
  6. What are the values of Health Care for the Homeless, and why are they important to you?

Consumer Storytellers

  1. What does HCH mean to people experiencing homelessness?
  2. How did you come to experience homelessness and HCH?
  3. How did you first engage with HCH services?
  4. What impact has HCH made in your life?

Clinicians, Advocates, or Administrator Storytellers

  1. How has Health Care for the Homeless impacted you as a practitioner or advocate?
  2. How has your work with Health Care for the Homeless changed your view of homelessness?
  3. In your experience, what is the most important aspect of HCH work?


What do I need to bring?

All you need to bring is your perspective.

If you would like to bring an item that is special to you and your experiences with Health Care for the Homeless, however, please feel free to do so! You can incorporate that into your story if you choose.


How might my story be used?

Your story may be collected with others in an online series of #HCHStories videos, podcasts, or other materials on the National HCH Council’s website, social media, and print publications to boost awareness of the impact of homeless health care. You will be asked to sign a release, but you may decline to continue or disallow your interview from use by the Council at any time during the storytelling session.


What if I can’t attend an in-person session?

We would still be honored to hear your story! You can tell your story to us online via our form.


What if I have further questions?

Please feel free to contact Rick Brown, Communications Coordinator, with any comments or questions.