A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Housing Justice Narrative Change and Messaging Resources

Across the country, communities are working to end homelessness and address housing challenges by shifting policy to transform systems. In order to do that and achieve housing justice, strong political and public will must be built. However, gaining support requires compelling and values-based messaging to make the case. We have heard over and over that we need to “shift the narrative.” But, what does that really mean and what messages work?

Below are resources, past and current research projects, and programming focused on homelessness and housing messaging that can help guide funders as they look to implement narrative and messaging campaigns in the community to build both political and public will to end housing insecurity.


Funders Together Resources

Webinars and Guides

2021 Funders Institute Plenary: Narrative Change Research: What is it Telling Us?

Webinar Recording: Housing and Homelessness Narrative Change: From Research to Action

How to Frame Homelessness Messaging


Narrative Change and Messaging Research Resources

ASO Communications

From It to I to Us: A Language Analysis of Discourse on Housing

No Place Like Home: Cognitive Elicitation Interviews on Housing


Center for Media & Social Impact

Homelessness & Housing Security in U.S. Culture: How Popular Culture & News Depict an American Challenge


Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Housing Narrative Research

CZI Housing Narrative Research Overview

Housing Narrative Change Guide

The California Dream Communications Toolkit


Community Change

"It Just Makes Us More Powerful": A Participatory Evaluation of the Housing Justice Narrative Fellowship

Frameworks Institute

Housing Toolkit

Talking About Poverty: Narratives, Counter-Narratives, and Telling Effective Stories


Funders Together San Diego

Effective Messaging Strategies for Housing as a Solution to Homelessness


Housing Justice Narrative Initiative

Housing Justice Narrative Initiative website



Resources and Tools


Housing Narrative Lab


Public Opinion Research on Homeless Messaging

Messaging Guide for Communicating about Homelessness

Framing/Messaging Guidance: Housing/Asylum-seekers and migrants


Invisible People

What America Believes About Homelessness

What America Believes About Homelessness: Barriers to Progress



Housing Justice Narrative Toolkit


Progressive Playbook

Housing Messaging Guide


Sierra Club

Equity Language Guide

Sum of Us

A Progressive’s Style Guide



Dismantling the Narratives That Constrain Public Support for Fair Housing: the Urgent Need to Reframe the Public Conversation to Build Public Will

How Do Fish See Water? Building Public Will to Advance Inclusive Communities

Making the Case for Systems Change: Tackling the Issues of Gentrification & Displacement 

Who Gets to Live Where, and Why? The Answer May Be Settled By Our Narratives

"You Don't Have to Live Here" Why Housing Messages Are Backfiring and 10 Things We Can Do About It

How Our Narratives About Ending Homelessness Are Backfiring


University of Southern California

Narrative Change and Impact: Analysis of In-Depth Interviews with Experts, Practitioners, and Funders in the Narrative Change Field


We Make the Future

Guide to Messaging Our Freedoms

Race and Class Narrative Example Language

Race and Class Narrative Checklist



Showing 1 reaction

  • Lauren Bennett
    published this page in Funder Resources 2020-12-01 09:24:16 -0500

We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or email.