WSUV professor to speak at homeless fundraiser

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photoDesiree Hellegers

Desiree Hellegers, associate professor of English at Washington State University Vancouver and the author of a book of interviews with homeless women, will speak at a fundraising breakfast in Seattle on Sept. 18. The breakfast benefits Sojourner Place, a Sisters of Providence ministry that houses women for up to one year as they get ready for independence.

Hellegers' 2011 oral history book, "No Room of Her Own: Women's Stories of Homelessness, Life, Death and Resistance," features the stories of 15 homeless women whom Hellegers interviewed over the course of almost 20 years. Hellegers plans to share the stage on Sept. 18 with Mona Joyner and Delores Loann Winston, whose stories are included in the book.

"It's crucial for people to hear directly from women who have lived the experience of homelessness so that they can understand just how dehumanizing and life-threatening it really is," Hellegers said. "The women are amazing storytellers and also powerful social critics whose experience has given them a unique window into the state of civil society in the United States."

Tickets to the 7:30 a.m. Sept. 18 "A Cause to Dine For" breakfast are $60 per person; call 425-525-3014 or email pariseauevents@providence.org. The venue is the Hyatt at Olive 8 hotel, 1635 Eighth Avenue, Seattle.

The Sisters of Providence is the same group that established Vancouver's Providence Academy in the 1850s.