A Shelter Turns to Social Media to Soften the Image of the Homeless
News Release from Jeremy Reynalds at Joy Junction.
Contact: Telephone (505) 400-7145 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (ANS – January 14, 2017) — The title got you, didn’t it? Otherwise you’d have probably moved right on.
Okay, there was no homeless man biting a dog. If there was, it probably would have been the leading story on all local network news affiliates tonight. That’s because something is typically considered more newsworthy if is unusual or infrequent.
Because common events appear much less in news, it’s been suggested that news consumers can have skewed perceptions about what is normal and what isn’t.
An unintended result is that a couple of isolated events can end up being considered typical by viewers and readers because of the amount of news coverage focused on them.
That can result in some negative consequences for all the homeless, and unfortunate stereotyping.
For example. Joy Junction Founder and CEO, Dr. Jeremy Reynalds, said, “After seeing a story about an area of Albuquerque experiencing issues with the homeless because of the socially inappropriate behavior of some, I’m betting that some of the “water cooler” talk for the next few days focused on the laziness of ‘all’ the homeless, and how they should be run out of town because they’re lowering housing values.”
However, Reynalds added, “Joy Junction feels very strongly that the good side of the homeless – both acts of kindness carried out by them and for them-isn’t getting noticed enough, and the positive aspects which are out there have been buried or had limited circulation.”
With that in mind, Joy Junction has opened up a new web site and a Facebook page to invite people to share positive stories about the homeless. Reports can be based upon personal experiences, or a link to a story published by a reputable media site.
Some of the encouraging articles already posted at “The Homeless Are People Too” include “This McDonald’s Next to Vatican Will Give Away Free Meals to Homeless,” “Pasadena Apartment Complex is Giving Homeless Families Another Chance, “America’s 10 Most Charitable Cities” and “Iowa Wrestler Turns Past of Homelessness into College Success.”
Reynalds said, “We all know that the homeless aren’t angels, but they out of everyone are probably the least able to defend themselves against negative reports. I hope this site will make at least a little difference by reminding all of us that the homeless are people too, and it’s never a good idea to judge a book by its cover.”
Photo captions: 1) A clip from a homeless video. 2) Jeremy Reynalds with his wife, Elma.
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