Our Homeless Crisis: A Community Epidemic | What to Expect

Dear Community,

We hope that you will attend 540WMain Learning Academy’s May Conversation In a Community Room: Our Homeless Crisis: Our Community Epidemic. Please confirm your attendance and contribution to the conversation. If you are attending please register here


  • Date: Tuesday May 8 // 7-9 PM
  • Location: 540WMain Community Learning Academy
  • Cost: Free // $5 suggested donation

**proceeds to support House of Mercy & 540WMain Community Programming


You may be receiving this information for the first time. If this is the case, please see it as an invitation for your attendance. Please pass the invitation on to other individuals organizations that you feel would provide meaningful insight to the discussion as a panelist or audience member.


The objective of this this conversation is the foster a safe space to share the stories and faces of displacement and those living without a home, dismantle stereotypes about who is homeless and what homelessness looks like, and discuss accountability around the human right of homelessness. The discussion will also discuss how the factors of age, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, intersect with homelessness.

The intent was to create a diverse panel of all stakeholders from community members to providers and more to discuss this epidemic providing a space for perspective of those currently living or who have been displaced. The intent was to have this discussion led by those directly affected by displacement and/or working with those affected by homelessness.

  • This has proved to be challenging when considering respect and not crossing the line of exploiting a vulnerable population of individuals.
  • It was also challenging to get responses back from organizations working with those displaced and homeless like House of Mercy

Essential Questions

  1. Whose responsibility is it to care for those displaced and living without a home?
  2. Who defines what is classified as a home?
  3. What systemic factors contribute to homelessness in Rochester?
  4. What actions can we take as individuals and a community to ensure that everyone has access to adequate and safe homes in Rochester?
  5. How do we hold City government accountable for not exploiting or ignoring our most vulnerable community member?

Panel Members (confirmed so far)

Center for Youth: Organization working with displaced youth. CFY will provide data and stories on homelessness and Rochester LGBTQ youth

Teysia Lynn  Parks: Graphic Designer and community member who has experienced homelessness. Teysia will share her story

Michele Ashlee: Photojournalist with Open Mic Rochester that has worked with and covered displacement and homelessness in Rochester. Michele will take us on a photo walk of individuals she photographed for a story with Open Mic on homelessness. Michele also serves as 540WMain’s volunteer photographer. Learn more here 

Published by Calvin Eaton

(he/his/him) Calvin Eaton is a disabled community educator, content creator, and social entrepreneur, whose area of expertise includes antiracism, equity, justice, instructional design, and program development. In 2016 Mr. Eaton founded 540WMain, Inc. a non-profit online and community-based organization for accessible education and events that promote justice for all.

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