College of Arts and Sciences
Communication Department

American Winter

  •      American Winter Poster

    On June 18, 2013, we were honored to support the screening of "American Winter," the new HBO documentary about families seeking assistance in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  The film by Joe & Harry Gantz documents the lives of eight families struggling to survive and succeed in Oregon, through their use of the 211 system.

     Am Winter Families

    Thank you, everyone who came out to view this important film, and especially the families who took time to tell their stories.

    Thank you also to our co-hosts, Washington Budget & Policy Center and Working Washington, as well as to our co-presenters:

    Building Changes Campion Foundation CityClub Columbia Legal Services

    Firesteel (a YWCA advocacy network) Global Music Project/Emerging Artists

    Hopelink Housing Development Consortium

    Northwest Justice Project Real Change News Rotary District 5030

    Seattle-King County Coalition on Homelessness

    Washington Low Income Housing Alliance YWCA Seattle I King I Snohomish

    Am Winter Theater

     Am Winter Standing Ovation

     Am Winter After



    If you were energized by the screening, please consider these simple actions: 

    Tell your friends what you saw and ask them to view AMERICAN WINTER on HBO Go, buy it on DVD in September, or arrange for a screening.


    Volunteer for, or donate to, an organization that helps families and others who are homeless. See a partial list at


    Organize a drive at church or school to collect school supplies, books, clothing, sleeping bags, blankets or other items that can help children and families who are homeless.  


    Use the power of the Internet to advocate for affordable housing and an end to homelessness. Get on the list for Action Alerts on housing and homelessness policy and budget issues:

    • Housing Development Consortium (Seattle and King County),     


    Vote on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, for candidates who support housing and homelessness policies.    

    • See a list of current officials and candidates and other Washington state voter information at       
    • Attend a Candidate Forum this fall and ask the candidates where they stand on housing and homelessness policy.   


    Join Firesteel, the statewide platform for social change led by Washington YWCAs.Sign up at   


    Learn about the policies that affect housing and homelessness by reading a blog such as “Schmudget.”   


    Follow these advocates on Twitter:@Building Changes @budget_policy @firesteelwa @HDC_SeaKC @LisaGustaveson @schoolhousewa @wliha   and our own Twitter account, @chinrichsen@su.


    Make sure your school has appointed a homeless education liaison who can help get children connected with the services they are entitled to.Contact the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for more information,   


    Attend Housing & Homelessness Advocacy Day in Olympia, January 24, 2014. Join 600+ citizens from around the state and tell legislators that everyone deserves the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, affordable home.   


    Read about progress around the state in ending homelessness as a result of providers, funders, and policymakers working together at, including the new “A Road Map for Coordinated Entry.”   


    Volunteer for your local One Night Count or Point in Time Count in January 2014. In King County:  Spots fill early, so sign up this fall.  


    Support poor and homeless newspaper sellers by buying a copy of Real Change from an authorized vendor. New issues every Wednesday. Only $2. Find your local vendor: 


    Learn more from journalism projects about family homelessness, by the Seattle University Journalism Fellows on Family Homelessness, at Coming up: The State of Family Homelessness in the South Sound, in South Sound magazine, August/September 2013.  


    Read about the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness by 2016 in your county.