Everyone wants to tell a story about homelessness. But it’s not just one story:
“I was a mom who wasn’t prepared to lose anything. And I lost everything.”
“I had pictures on my wall and I had carpet between my toes. Now I don’t get that.”
“People are dying out here in the cold.”
And homelessness isn’t just one thing. So, KNKX Public Radio and The Seattle Times Project Homeless team have partnered on Outsiders, an in-depth podcast series to help you understand what’s actually happening.
Reporters spent a year in Olympia, documenting the lives of people who live outside and the people trying to turn a shoestring budget into their safety net. KNKX's Will James hosts the podcast, along with the Project Homeless team: editor Vianna Davila and reporters Sydney Brownstone and Scott Greenstone.
In 2018, a homeless encampment in the shadow of the state Capitol expanded to include hundreds of tents. It’s a microcosm of the rising number of people living outside in cities along the West Coast, which is home to two-thirds of the nation’s total population of unsheltered people.
Some say homelessness is a story of overly permissible liberal cities destroying themselves. Others say it’s a story about the failure of capitalism. And many of them equally struggle to find words to describe what’s becoming increasingly visible when they step outside their doors. It’s a messy issue, and we’re looking straight into the messiness:
What’s it like to live outside for months on end?
What’s it like when tents come to your neighborhood?
What new solutions can city leaders find?
This is Outsiders. The first episode of the series launches Jan. 29. It’s available wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Pocketcasts. You can listen to a trailer, and all the episodes as they drop, online at outsiderspodcast.org.
“Outsiders” is hosted by KNKX reporter Will James, and The Seattle Times’ Project Homeless team: editor Vianna Davila and reporters Sydney Brownstone and Scott Greenstone. The show was produced by Bethany Denton, and editing help was provided by Erin Hennessey, KNKX community outreach manager, and Anna Sussman, senior producer with Snap Judgment from WNYC Studios. “Outsiders” was made with support from Studiotobe Seattle.