Manship School students in Professor James E. Shelledy’s MC 2002 Feature Writing class learned about more than writing features in the spring of 2011. These students learned to tell a story while looking through someone else’s eyes--someone who has very different experiences from their own.
The following accounts represent the random voices of homelessness in Louisiana, primarily the Baton Rouge area.
While these stories are neither statistically accurate nor inaccurate, they are snapshots taken in late April and early May 2011
“It was an eye-opening experience for the students, just as we hope it is for any who take time to hear out the homeless,” says Shelledy.
Some of the portraits fit popular stereotypes, freedom-loving drifters or silent panhandlers imprisoned by substance abuse or past misfortune. Others tell of young and not-so-young who are temporarily marooned by abandonment, abuse, or financial exigencies. And there are those who are imprisoned by physical or mental illnesses.
Because the LSU class itself is diverse, the following stories differ in style, length and approach, adding authenticity to the various accounts.
And, be sure to see these stories featured in the November 2011 edition of 225 Magazine on newsstands now.