West Seattle Event Calendar

*NOTE: We’ve ramped the calendar back to some level of usefulness, as more events continue being planned, both online and in-person, so let us know if you have something coming up that’s open to the public!*

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Josephine Ensign Discusses ‘Skid Road: On The Frontier Of Health And Homelessness In An American City’ @ Online (see listing)
Oct 20 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Informed by her own lived experience of homelessness, and many years providing primary health care to homeless people, Ensign will discuss this complicated issue.

Patrons can register via Eventbrite here. Registration required.

The event is presented in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company. This event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation and the Gary and Connie Kunis Foundation. Thanks to media sponsor The Seattle Times. This event will be recorded, captioned and then posted on SPL’s YouTube channel after the event.

About the Book:

A compelling look at the historical roots of poverty and homelessness, the “worthy” and “unworthy” poor, and the role of charity health care and public policy in the United States.

Home to over 730,000 people, with close to four million people living in the metropolitan area, Seattle has the third-highest homeless population in the United States. In 2018, an estimated 8,600 homeless people lived in the city, a figure that does not include the significant number of “hidden” homeless people doubled up with friends or living in and out of cheap hotels. In Skid Road, Josephine Ensign digs through layers of Seattle history—past its leaders and prominent citizens, respectable or not—to reveal the stories of overlooked and long-silenced people who live on the margins of society.

The sometimes fragmentary tales of these people, their lives and deaths, are not included in official histories of a place. How, Ensign asks, has a large, socially progressive city like Seattle responded to the health needs of people marginalized by poverty, mental illness, addiction, racial/ethnic/sexual identities, and homelessness? Drawing on interviews and extensive research, Ensign shares a diversity of voices within contemporary health care and public policy debates.

A timely story in light of the ongoing health care reform debate, the affordable housing crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic, the stories from Skid Road illuminate issues surrounding poverty and homelessness throughout America.

About the Speaker:

Josephine Ensign is a professor in the School of Nursing and an adjunct professor in the Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. She works as a Nurse Practitioner and Faculty Preceptor at UW’s Health Equity Circle/Tent City Collective Foot Care and Health Outreach Clinics, University District Street Medicine project, and the Teeth and Toes Clinic. She is the author of Catching Homelessness: A Nurse’s Story of Falling through the Safety Net and Soul Stories: Voices from the Margins. Her newest book, Skid Road: On the Frontier of Health and Homelessness in an American City, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in August 2021.

View in Catalog: Skid Road by Josephine Ensign

ADA Accommodations: We can provide accommodations for people with disabilities at Library events. Please contact leap@spl.org at least seven days before the event to request accommodations. Captions are available for all recorded Library programs.