Press Releases- HomelessnessMarathon.Org -- home of the Homelessness Marathon

 

The Homelessness Marathon

America's only national broadcast focusing on
homelessness and poverty

The 21st Homelessness Marathon live broadcast took place on July 24, 2019 from 10 A.M. to midnight, originating at WMBR in Cambridge, Massachusetts. You can listen to the archived broadcast at archive.org.



2019 PRESS RELEASE: 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact:  Jeremy Weir Alderson, radio@lightlink.com 607-546-2084

HEARING THE HOMELESS ON YOUR RADIO

The 21st Annual Homelessness Marathon will air from 10 a.m. to midnight, ET on Wednesday, July 24th, 2019.

The Homelessness Marathon is a unique radio program that gives homeless people and their allies a chance to speak with the nation about their experiences. Along with its offshoot, the Canadian Homelessness Marathon, it is the only regular broadcast in the world focusing on homelessness.

Broadcasting from a different city each year, and airing on non-commercial radio stations coast-to-coast, the annual 14-hour Marathon features live reports, interviews with advocates and experts, and calls from listeners all over the country. Above all, the program centers around the voices of homeless people talking about their real circumstances, obstacles, and potential solutions.

“Part of the point of doing such a long broadcast,” explains the Marathon’s founder and director, Jeremy Weir Alderson, “is to show that homelessness can’t be dismissed with a single sentence like, “They’re all drunk and crazy.”

The goal is to create a dialogue on poverty, its causes and effects, and ideas for solving the homelessness crisis. This goes beyond just talking about homelessness: instead, the Marathon focuses on hearing and learning from the lived experiences of homeless people around the nation... ideas and voices that are completely missing from current political discourse.

This year’s broadcast will include discussions with homeless youth, students and LGBTQ people; panels on fighting evictions, transitioning people back into housing and ending homelessness now; live discussions with homeless people around Boston, including at a Health Care Without Walls facility, the Paulist Center Supper Club and a homeless art program. Other participating organizations will include the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Spare Change News and Father Bill’s Place. National participants will include Cheri Honkala, former Green Party VP candidate and Rev. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign. PLUS MUCH MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED!

The broadcast will also include this special test:

Invitations were sent to 21 presidential candidates (including the incumbent), inviting them to participate in the broadcast by explaining how they plan to end homelessness. To us, the participation or non-participation of the presidential candidates is a test of their characters. Will they take a few minutes out of their long campaigns to talk with the homeless and their allies about solutions to this national disgrace?  One has accepted so far, but we aren’t releasing the name yet, because it’s too early to make a judgment.

Originating in Boston, available nationwide:

We extend our thanks to this year’s host station WMBR, the radio station of MIT, and to the Pacifica Broadcasting System, which will distribute the program for free over its Audioport system.  Without their help, this broadcast would not be possible.

The program will be broadcast on community, college and public radio stations around the country. It’s available free to any radio station that would like to air it. A list of participating stations will be posted later this month at the website, homelessnessmarathon.org.

###



2018 PRESS RELEASE
20th HOMELESSNESS MARATHON SET FOR WASHINGTON, DC

The 20th Anniversary edition of the Homelessness Marathon will originate from Washington, DC from noon to midnight Eastern time on Tuesday, June 12th. The Homelessnesss Marathon is the only broadcast of its kind, focusing on poverty and homelessness and featuring the voices of homeless people talking about their real circumstances and the real obstacles they face.

This year's broadcast will be held in conjunction with a poor people's march led by Homelessness Marathon board member and head of the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC), Cheri Honkala*. PPEHRC will be bringing marchers from all over the country and Puerto Rico to the National Mall where the marchers will be among the interviewees on the broadcast.

As always, the 20th Homelessness Marathon will feature live reports, the voices of advocates and experts, special features (to be announced) and calls from all over the country to create a dialog on poverty that is completely missing from current political discourse.

The broadcast will be available free to non-commercial radio stations and will be distributed via the Pacifica Radio Network's Audioport.

*Cheri was also the Green Party's VP nominee in 2012, but the broadcast is non-partisan. Stations across the country via the Public Radio Satellite System and the Pacifica Network.


###

2017 PRESS RELEASE
HOMELESSNESS MARATHON ON INAUGURATION EVE

The 19th Annual Homelessness Marathon will be a four-hour broadcast, airing from 7-11 p.m., EST, on the evening of January 19th - the eve of the inauguration! As always, the Marathon will feature the voices of desperately poor and homeless people. This year, we'll be asking them one question above all: What would you like to tell the incoming president?"

According to Homelessness Marathon director, Jeremy Weir Alderson, "This isn’t just about Donald Trump. We've been doing this since Bill Clinton was in office."

In 1998, Alderson founded the broadcast in upstate New York, thinking it would be a one-time event, but the broadcast drew such a positive response that he kept it going, and it grew to have dozens of affiliates across the United States and a daughter broadcast, the Canadian Homelessness Marathon, airing on stations across Canada.

The 19th Annual Homelessness Marathon will be based in the studios of WMPG, community radio in Portland, Maine, where there will be in-studio guests both housed and homeless. But it is the hallmark of the Homelessness Marathon to air voices directly from the streets. This year a network of correspondents, offering microphones to homeless people across the country, will facilitate that mission.

The broadcast will be available free of charge to non-commercial radio stations across the country via the Public Radio Satellite System and the Pacifica Network.

###

2014 PRESS RELEASE
LIVE FROM BRATTLEBORO, VERMONT – THE 16TH ANNUAL HOMELESSNESS MARATHON

The Homelessness Marathon will once again bring the voices of homeless people into America's homes. "I wish we could get their bodies inside too," comments Jeremy Weir Alderson, the broadcast's founder, "but we're doing the best thing we can, by showing America why this problem should be, can be and must be solved."

The broadcast, which has previously originated from Detroit, Kansas City, and Katrina-ravaged Mississippi, among other places, features live in-depth discussions with homeless people. The broadcast also takes calls, so people living in their homes can talk with people living on the streets. It will originate from in front of the First Baptist Church of Brattleboro, at 190 Main St. The First Baptist Church provides the space for Brattleboro's overflow shelter, operated by the Brattleboro Drop-In Center. A few years ago, the church sold its prize possession - a Tiffany stained glass window – so that it could continue its mission, including its service to the poor.

The 16th Annual Homelessness Marathon will start at 7 p.m., EST. Wednesday, February 19th and will run for six hours until 1:00 a.m. Its audio signal will be available for free to all radio stations over the Public Radio Satellite System, the Pacifica Ku-band and Pacifica's Audioport.

We wish to thank both our hosts on the ground -- the Brattleboro First Baptist Church and The Brattleboro Drop-In center – as well as our hosts on the air. We would not be in Brattleboro at all were it not for our longtime Brattleboro affiliate, community radio station, WVEW-LP, 107.7 FM. And it is thanks to the folks at Brattleboro Community Television (BCTV) and a host of volunteers that the 16th Annual Homelessness Marathon will also be televised.

The locally-produced video from Brattleboro will air nationally on Free Speech Television (FSTV). Starting at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19th, all six hours of the Homelessness Marathon will be on FSTV's website, http://www.freespeech.org. Starting at 8 pm, the last five hours will also be on FSTV's two satellite channels, channel 9415 on the Dish Network and channel 348 on DirecTV (and also on BCTV's channel 8).

###