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Special Project

Special Project
From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

Where I Stay Podcast

Finalist in Podcast Mini Series


Where I Stay was designed to change the way people think about homelessness by spotlighting the plight faced by these often-overlooked communities, who mostly consist of “doubled up” families, adolescents, and other at-risk groups. 

Angelica became homeless at age 12, but she never lived on the street. Instead: Prisons. Vegas condos. The living room of an Iowa drug queen-pin, and an inpatient facility for adolescents. This is Where I Stay -- a serialized audio documentary exploring "invisible" homelessness and housing instability in America through the lens of Angelica’s life. 

Each year, millions of Americans experiencing homelessness are locked out of receiving necessary aid because they fail to meet the definition of “homelessness” set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

The series is a multimedia collaboration with StreetWise magazine, a “street paper” dedicated to providing a platform to amplify voices on issues of homelessness, poverty, injustice and inequality. StreetWise currently provides employment to over 15,000 individuals in Chicago who are experiencing homelessness or are at-risk of becoming homeless through sales of its weekly magazine.

The Where I Stay project incorporates multiple components beyond the podcast including

Strategy and Execution

Over the course of 8 episodes, reporter Jesse Betend explores Angelica’s saga of invisible homelessness which took many unique and surprising forms. However, the series represents much more than just Angelica’s story.

StreetWise editor Suzanne Hanney, called Angelica’s story “a broader representation of what homelessness looks like across the nation,” and provided additional print reporting to accompany the podcast including interviews with a number of experts on youth homelessness who said they knew Angelica, even though they had never met her.

The team also focused on bringing more voices into the conversation by  hosting two live virtual events moderated by reporter Jesse Betend and StreetWise editor Suzanne Hanney, including a forum featuring researcher and assistant professor of clinical psychology at DePaul University, Dr. Molly Brown, Erin Murray of Chicago Social Service Organization, The Night Ministry, in addition to the perspective of an individual with lived experience of homelessness. The panel also included two StreetWise vendors, Lee Holmes and Paula Green, who participated on the panel representing individuals with lived experience.


StreetWise Magazine and Rivet helped bring Angelica’s story to its readers through its circulation of 250,000 print and 17,000 digital issues. The first issue of StreetWise magazine featuring Angelica’s story sold out its entire print run, providing employment and income to homeless and jobless individuals during the pandemic. 

Where I Stay was a finalist for multiple Best Podcast awards, including the 2020 Shorty Award and two Chicago Headline Club Peter Lisagor Awards. 

Listeners have called the show “investigative, empathetic, emotional, grounded, and important.” Reporter Tony Boylan called it a “wonderfully empathetic telling of a story you will be richer for knowing.” And Chicago social service organization, The Night Ministry, says Where I Stay is “An incredibly impactful and illuminating podcast about hidden youth homelessness.” Many listeners have expressed that the series has made them aware of an increasingly crucial issue they were previously unaware of and noted that “each episode moves along so smoothly that you won't believe an episode is already over.”  Estimated 4,000 listeners.

 Where I Stay is currently in the process of securing funding for the production of Season 2.


Video for Where I Stay Podcast

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