The Lived Experience Speakers Bureau (LESB) is a group of public speakers who work to educate the public about homelessness.
LESB speakers are people with direct, lived experience of homelessness, who speak about their personal lives and stories. Through sharing their experience, speakers help challenge myths around why people become homeless, facilitate conversation, and inspire social action.
Request a speaker now.
The Real Change’s Lived Experience Speakers Bureau is made up of individuals who are currently or formerly homeless.
Where do they speak?
The Lived Experience Speakers Bureau is available to any organization. Speakers are often hosted by schools, faith communities, civic groups, service providers, and businesses.
Why host speakers?
The Lived Experience Speakers Bureau works to give homeless and very low-income people a voice while educating the public about the real issues facing people who are homeless in their communities. We have a great group of people who are eager to get out there, share their stories, and build meaningful relationships. It is a unique opportunity for audience members as well as for speakers.
How do I request speakers?
Request a speaker here. Speakers may be scheduled two or more weeks in advance of the event. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-441-3247 x 205.
How long does an event last?
Speakers are available for 1-2 hour events.
How much does it cost to host speakers?
Host organizations pay a $150 honorarium to Real Change for two speakers. This payment covers $50 for each speaker, plus transportation and logistics.
“Powerful and personal testimony about the situation of adult homeless people in Seattle and the work of Real Change… Your message had an impact.”
- Heidi Thomeson-Pena, Program Developer, First United Methodist Church
“I encourage you to continue these public speaking presentations. I believe they are beneficial to our society. Sometimes, it takes putting a name and a face to a problem before people are willing to help.”
- Anne Parrish, Continental Savings Bank
“The students… were confronted with some of their own stereotypes about the poor. All learned about the paper and what grassroots social change can be all about.”
- Lucy Jaros, Asst. Prof. Dept. of Geography, University of Washington
“The speaker was informative, funny, powerful, honest and articulate. The students loved him.”
- Astrid Larsen, School Counselor, The Northwest School
“We would heartily recommend your speaking program, and the work of your organization(s), to any other civic group, club, church or organization looking for their ‘Best Program of the Year’.”
- Neal Lekwa, Program Chairman, Lions Club of Mercer Island