The “Home Is” Mission

The mission of the “Home Is” project is to re-define ‘homelessness’.  To begin, we must re-define the language we use.  In speaking with hundreds of ‘homeless’ people, I end each interview with the question, “What does ‘home’ mean to you?”  Unsurprisingly, every single interviewee has answered uniquely.  Every single person finds ‘home’ somewhere – whether that’s a place, a person, a feeling, a memory, or an aspiration.

The dictionary definition of ‘homeless’ is:  “without a home…”.  Yet, this definition does not acknowledge the broad ranging notion of ‘home’.  If the hundreds of interviews I have conducted have taught me anything, it is that ‘home’ is not just a place.  To call someone ‘homeless’ is to strip them of their dignity, humanity, and  identity.

There are many other terms better suited to describe the population we call ‘homeless’: 

When we change the language we use, we change the image we create in our minds.  This work is key if we are to make widespread and large-scale change.  Let this be the starting point for the change we seek to make.