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This CD has exclusive new tracks by Bruce Springsteen & Pete Seeger, Jon Bon Jovi, Mario Frangoulis, Buffalo Tom, Natalie Merchant, & more in collaboration with currently or formerly homeless musicians on benefit CD to fight homelessness.


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Close to Home: A Writing Curriculum Exploring Homelessness

Give US Your Poor and the Writers’ Express (WEX) have collaborated on the development of a five-day unit that will give students an intimate glimpse into the lives of homeless individuals and families. Through the use of video documentary, photography, music and print material, students will see and hear real peoples’ stories and connect this to their own lives during daily writing and sharing sessions. Teachers and students will be introduced to the WEX Method™, which includes classroom routines and learning habits that will lead to effective and engaging writing.  The unit is designed to be doable in a busy schedule.  The unit consists of 1 hour per day for 5 days with an optional 6th day.

Target: Middle School & High School Teachers & Students

WEX and Give US Your Poor have also developed a teacher’s seminar introducing the curriculum, the accompanying multi-media materials, student writing samples and case studies, and access to articulate speakers that have experienced homelessness.  Participants of the teachers seminar will receive an engaging WEX writing unit that they will implement in their classrooms, video and photographic material that accompanies the unit, a copy of the Give US Your Poor CD, and 3 Professional Development Points (PDP's).

To Sign Up or Ask Questions

If your school is interested in offering this curriculum, or the teachers’ seminar, or if you have any questions, contact Christine Dibuono, Director of Program Development, WEX, at (617) 844-1003 or by email at

What Teachers Are Saying

The unit allowed me to meet learning standards in English/Language Arts, while also getting to see my students through a different lens altogether as they grappled with issues that affect the human race.

I appreciated the structured format to discuss such a sensitive and timely issue with my students. The lessons and the writing allowed them to explore their feelings in a safe way, and to see the progression of those feelings and new understandings.

- Melissa London, 6th grade teacher, Pierce School, Brookline, MA

The unit provided an opportunity for my students to delve deeper into the hearts and minds of the homeless by reading and hearing personal stories from people who have experienced homelessness firsthand and through writing assignments that were intellectually and emotionally engaging. The unit assisted my students as they probed the causes of homelessness and searched for ways to create possible solutions.

- Andrew Malionik, teacher, Catholic Memorial High School