May 11, 2018

Lisa Lindsay | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

Lisa Lindsay


Manager of Community Services, Fresno County Public Library, CA


MLIS, Simmons College, 2005


Surviving the Streets of Fresno

Photo by Jill B. Potter


Street Stories

“Lisa Lindsay makes things happen,” says Lindsay’s nominator Krista Riggs, supervising librarian at the Fresno County Public Library. She points to Our Lives: Surviving the Streets of Fresno, a documentary produced and directed by Lindsay—funded with a grant she wrote—that sheds light on homelessness in Fresno County. What makes the film unique is that homeless individuals did the filming; a few took filmmaking training. Screenings included panel discussions that fostered community dialog and raised awareness about the more than 1,600 homeless people in the county.

Lindsay wrote an essay, “Who Are the Homeless People in My Library?” for Zócalo magazine, which was reprinted in the Fresno Bee, and was interviewed on the radio.

Through a partnership with the Fresno Madera Continuum of Care, she spearheaded a Homeless Connect event at the library. More than 300 individuals connected with resources to regain housing security and other services—and left with fresh produce.

Lindsay keeps in touch with many of the people who appeared in her film. Some are doing well in housing. Two left California. One, sadly, died of an overdose, while another recently told her he’d hit one year of sobriety. “The project was about giving people living on the streets a platform to speak for themselves and an opportunity to be a part of something to feel proud of,” says Lindsay. “All people deserve to be treated with dignity.”

This article was published in Library Journal's March 15, 2018 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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  1. A few people have asked so I’m providing the youtube link where you can view Our Lives: Surviving the Streets of Fresno as well as the panel discussions which occurred after the public screenings in Fresno.

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