Lab #9

Part One: Audience and purpose

Who are you writing your article for?: people who live in cities and come into contact with homeless people

What is the purpose of your article?: to get people to consider homeless people as people/to humanize homeless people/to show people that what we think of others matters

Part Three: Structuring your entire piece around one narrative

maybe: visiting the St-James drop-in center

  • Walking down the stairs of the basement, seeing group of people (sense of community)
  • Man gets up and welcomes me into executive director’s office, very polite (complication: makes me remember that I hardly pay attention or give change to homeless people/ why don’t I?/does it matter?)
  • Notice art on the walls, sense of home and comfort
  • Another man walks in to use the phone, polite and says good morning
  • Interview: homelessness isn’t houselessness, need hope, sense of digniy
  • Interview: talks about being friends with them for real, but mentions the tragedies and number of deaths
  • Realization that what we think about homeless people matters, we have to remember that they are individuals

Part Two: Outline, take two

Exposition: Always take the metro and ignore or have no reaction to people asking for money (specific: ignoring the woman lying on the ground in the metro)

Complication: Why did I ignore her? Does it matter?

Sub-argument #1: why we ignore homeless people

  • stereotypes about the homeless
  • idea that it’s their fault
  • capitalist society labels people as useless

Sub-argument #2 (because of that): donate less to people who are responsible for their plight

  • role of empathy/justice
  • how does empathy work?
  • what you think about people does actually mater

Sub-argument #3: people tend to want to help homeless people in an abstract way, but are repelled in real life, face-to-face

  • Can we harness this desire to help (from far away?)
  • Housing fist approach: can we solve the problem with money only? funding housing and solving one problem they have

Sub-argument #4: Is housing really a major issues for homeless people?

  • Interview: not really, about home and dignity and communication
  • This approach doesn’t help everyone, only a few, very specific

Climax: “there is no vaccine for homelessness”

But, denouement: about community, what we think matters, “homelessness” is a broad term that erases who these people really are







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