DONATE YOUR SMALL TALK: How to Have Effective Conversations on Homelessness

By: Libby Watson, Director of Outreach and Organizing, We Are In

Homelessness is a serious challenge in our communities. Let’s talk about it.

We Are In is asking our community to donate small talk. Every day, we exchange small talk with our baristas, rideshare drivers, family, friends, colleagues, and others — usually about the weather, the weather, and the weather. Why not turn those moments into opportunities to raise awareness and spread empathy about the challenge of homelessness?

Donating small talk is an easy and effective way to promote a more informed, aware, and empathetic community around homelessness — and anyone can do it.

We know this might sound silly or awkward, but it’s easier than it sounds, and We Are In’s Donate Your Small Talk Toolkit guides you through best practices.

WAI_Small Talk Toolkit_FINAL_Nov 2023

When homelessness comes up in small talk, it’s important to acknowledge the feelings you’re hearing and find common ground where you can. Often, someone might be repeating a harmful misconception or using language that you might not. Even still, it’s important to recognize where someone is coming from — this is an emotional issue, so we need to bring understanding and sensitivity to all our conversations.

Our Small Talk Toolkit is only a starting point. If you or whoever you’re talking to is interested in diving deeper, the best thing to do is join We Are In. We share informative content, host community events, direct you to service and advocacy opportunities, and more.

Join the movement to prevent and end homelessness in King County.

Download our Small Talk Toolkit now.