Tamar Chafets: “Put Yourself in Their Shoes…”

Watch STF’s special event with Tamar Chafets (Click to watch, 42:24)


April 28, 2020: As part of their ongoing effort to support homeless youth in their community, Da Vinci Schools STF leaders hosted a virtual conversation with homeless youth advocate Tamar Chafets. They were joined by students and staff from Carson, Culver City, Da Vinci, Hamilton, New Roads, and Palisades Charter high schools.

Tamar discussed several factors that can lead to youth and families falling into homelessness, including abuse, job loss, divorce or death of a guardian, medical emergency, incarceration and eviction. She also highlighted how a lack of social programs and affordable housing perpetuates the cycle of homelessness, particularly in Los Angeles.

During the Q&A, Tamar answered questions ranging from actions students can take to support homeless youth, to the best ways to break down stigmas around those experiencing homelessness.

“The more you can talk to a person and have them feel heard, acknowledged, the more you will build your empathy. But you also want to be respectful of their privacy. Homeless youth are often ashamed and embarrassed. In order to have empathy, you’re going to need to put yourself into their shoes… We can’t empathize by thinking about homelessness, we need to hear stories and realize it’s horrible, nothing like we could ever imagine…” Tamar said when asked how STFers should start conversations about homelessness on campus.

Watch the discussion to learn more (42:24)!

Submitted by Geo Espinoza, Da Vinci Schools STF Co-President

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