The Housing and Health Series is hosted by the Chaffee County Office of housing and the Chaffee Department of Public and Environmental Health of Chaffee County. The series is funded through a grant from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Collaborating with Berkeley’s StoryCenter, six locals share their stories of home in Chaffee County. This project analyzes why the concept of home is so complex and personal but ultimately why it is so important to our lives. These video shorts explore the many versions of what home means to the community highlighting stories of love, loss, adoption, childhood, homelessness, and more.
Chaffee Housing Director Becky Gray told Ark Valley Voice “the goal is to increase the community’s compacity in understanding the complex issues around housing affordability and what we can do to address it from a policy perspective. The storytelling effort is conceived as an advocacy effort so we can use real-life stories to demonstrate to policymakers the implications of the decisions they are making. Often times the policymakers in our community are not housing insecure themselves.”
Gray went on to explain “the idea of bringing a diverse group of Chaffee county residents together to discuss the meaning of housing security and insecurity or just the meaning of home brings two outcomes. One, we have films we can use to put in front of policymakers to impact decisions, but two, we are hopefully eliminating the idea of [people needing housing as] ‘other’.”
“I hope by telling these stories we are going to recognize our neighbors and our friends and we’re going to be able to say wait we’re talking about a basic human right of access to housing and we’re talking about how it impacts people we know and love,” added Gray.
Another grant has been awarded to the series to continue the work. There will be another storytelling event. Gray hopes to expand the themes beyond housing.
The event is currently sold out, but to be put on a waiting list, email email@example.com. It will be recorded to watch later.