This is an important project because it’s something I have experienced personally. In fact, over the last few months, I have been speaking publicly about my mother’s experience living in Clark County while being a mentally ill. Recently, she experienced homelessness until she was able to find long-term care at Lincoln Place in Vancouver, Washington. Now, I get to talk about her experience before long-term care facilities existed for the mentally ill and what it was like growing up in poverty with an ill mother.
Since these resources have benefited my family in ways that I could not imagine, I am now extremely passionate about sharing them with others. Lost in VanWA as a place for families to find resources, inspiration, stories and community support around their family issues.
What – Lost in #VANWA is a community resource where you can find a list of all of the resources in the community surrounding homelessness and mental illness.
Where – most of the information is located on the website but, you can also find us on Twitter and Facebook Sharing engaging stories about different people and in the community.
Who – someone who might benefit from this website is not only a family or person struggling with mental illness or homelessness but, somebody who wants to provide resources to a loved one who is struggling with one of these issues.
When – the site is available 24 hours a day with several resources listed on the resource page. Some of these numbers include 24-hour hotlines or people are available.
Why – when it comes to resources in Clark County, we actually have quite a few but it seems like you only hear about one of them and there is not a collective website dedicated to resources in general. That is why I made Lost in VANWA. I wanted to create a collective resource kind of like an index store phone book we’re somebody to look in one place and find every single resource they would need.
How – on the website, there are several ways to interact including: reading the blog, resources page, getting involved, in the about page. There’s also the Twitter page which allows people to read quick clippings from the blog posts that might entice them to come back to the website. Last but not least, of course, there is Facebook. This is a place for community involvement where people can find out more or be engaged with the stories being told.
This project changed so many times for me over the course of this class it’s kind of unbearable. In fact, I’m not really sure I knew what I was doing when I started working on the project. Originally, it was meant to be kind of like a scavenger hunt kind of like the Vancouver “Rocks” page but, as things progressed with my public speaking I became more and more interested in trying to make that two projects joined somehow.
As I began to join these projects, I focused solely on mental illness. The more I participated in speaking engagements and spoke with people in the community that I have worked with my mother the more I realized that homelessness and mental illness go hand-in-hand in communities. That is why towards the end of my project I decided to combine all of them. I felt as though if I left out homelessness that it would be unfair especially given that my mother spent all of last winter homeless before she was able to get into her long-term care facility.
Once I begin building the website, again things began to change. I wanted to focus solely on telling stories but there’re so many good resources in people in the community working with these resources that deserve to have stories too.
Now, I can’t wait to tell others what Clark County is doing for my family. I don’t think I could ever move away from this community. There’s just too much here for my family.
I encountered many problems during this project including trying to set up the website and email forwarding. I have gone through several website templates to get to the one that I thought presented the work and in a way that was engaging by both the stories and the other elements of the site.
Other problems included not being able to make up my mind on what story I wanted to tell why also trying to coordinate interviews and Public speaking engagements.
Description – han index of resources in Clark County around homelessness and the mentally ill. Meant to provide families with options and information so that they don’t feel alone for hopeless.
Statement of Purpose – Lost in VANWA as a personal project but also a project for the community. It’s a resource for families in the Clark County area who may be in need of services. It’s also a way to raise awareness in the community around the services offered and the needs pf people in Clark County.
Influences – influences of the site are definitely People of New York. Other than that, I Believe this is a pretty original idea. A collective source of resources in one place for one community.
Fit within larger notion of aesthetics – the stories told, engage the community and place where people may not have paid any attention.
Material – material used includes social media and a website. Through these platforms, I was able to provide a collective list of resources, opportunities to be educated, ways to get involved in stories that kept you engaged.
Methodologies – the main idea is to engage the community and bring knowledge to resources that are offered through engaging stories of people who are impacted by these resources. This includes the actual businesses that offer resources themselves
Self Reflection Statement
Looking Back, there is a lot I would have done differently but, I am not sure that I regret anything at this point. The project grew and evolved into something better and better in this case. To think the project used to be about a scavenger hunt it is kind of humorous.
Other than that, I would like the site to have more stories and to be more educational.