Whoever said a picture is worth a thousand words was right.

Last week I spent two days on a video shoot for a piece on the importance of affordable housing.   Intellectually, I understood the arguments for affordable housing and for public policies that support it.  However it was this digital storytelling about people–a bank teller, a medical assistant, a grandmother–all of whom were able to reshape their lives for the better once they had a safe and decent place to live–that helped me to fully grasp the issue.  Seeing is believing.

Many of these individuals were at one time homeless.  That didn’t mean that they were on the street, though some were.  Sometimes it just meant that they lived from couch to couch, dependent on the graces of friends and families.  Many of these people had jobs and were working hard. Their minimum wages, however, weren’t enough to cover rent in DC.

As they told their stories, they laughed, they cried and they demonstrated their courage and passion.   Their images, their voices make the case for the importance of affordable housing far better than any white paper.   Without a place to live, it’s hard to find a job, educate your children and feel safe enough to make your way in the world.

It was an honor and privilege to hear these stories.  Soon the rest of the world will too.