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Social Storytelling Toolkit

Storytelling is an important part of your organization’s communication plan, but where to start? This online toolkit is a companion to our National HCH Conference presentations on Social Storytelling. You will find resources on understanding the art of storytelling, multimedia resources including photos, music, and graphics, and more. We hope you find this toolkit valuable to your work.

Need further help? Contact the Council’s Communications Team!

The Council’s Storytelling Projects and Guide

  • HCH Stories

    • An online video series illuminating the experiences of providers, consumers, advocates, and administrators involved with Health Care for the Homeless.
  • Visualize Homelessness

    • This series features a variety of topics affecting people experiencing homelessness and is intended to bring awareness to the many challenges and barriers faced by people without homes.
  • NCAB Storytelling Guide

    • Created by the National HCH Council’s National Consumer Advisory Board, this guide offers practical advice for individuals seeking to relate their experience of homelessness.

Past Storytelling Presentations


Storytelling in Health Care for the Homeless: Key Resources

The experience of homelessness is traumatizing, and storytelling in our field must be trauma-informed. The following two resources from the Council’s HCH Stories series offer story prompts and explanatory information for potential storytellers, each of which are specific to homeless health care.


Releases

Storytelling should not only inform but empower. It is critical to gain informed consent from individuals before recording their stories, and even more important to help them understand how their stories may be publicly shared. Below you can find a sample video, audio, and photograph release for use in storytelling initiatives that can be easily customized to your organization.


Digital Storytelling Resources

Digital storytelling is more than a term–it is a movement. Learn about the basic principles of digital storytelling with these beginners’ introductions to the art form.


Graphics and Photos

Multimedia storytelling can be extremely effective, but it can sometimes be time-consuming to create and difficult to find audiovisual resources for. The following free resources can help you get started with designing images or graphics and utilizing stock photos to enhance your storytelling.

  • Canva: A graphic-design tool website that uses a drag-and-drop format and provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts. It is used by non-designers and professionals. The tools can be used for both web and print media design and graphics.
  • Piktochart: A web-based infographic application which allows users without intensive experience as graphic designers to easily create infographics and visuals using themed templates.
  • Unsplash: A website dedicated to sharing stock photography under the Unsplash license. These are free to download and use. No attribution required.
  • Pexels: Another good place to get free photos. All photos are licensed under the Pexels license—you can use them for free for personal and commercial purposes.
  • Wikimedia Commons: A great source for images and photographs, many of them offered under a Creative Commons license requiring no or minimal attribution.
  • Copyright Friendly Resources: An excellent portal for finding free, easily attributed multimedia resources, whether in images, videos, or sounds.
  • Rule of Thirds

Audio Resources and Music


Social Media and Resources


Examples of Storytelling Done Well


Articles on Storytelling and Social Media

This website is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,625,741 with 20 percent financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.

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