USC Lori Yearwood Fund for Reporting on Homelessness

    The Lori Yearwood Fund for Reporting on Homelessness has been established to honor the late Lori Yearwood, who died at the age of 57 of cancer in September 2023. The fund will provide grants to professional journalists to support reporting on the lives and health challenges of people who are unhoused.

    Lori, a 2022 National Fellow with the USC Center for Health Journalism, chronicled the circumstances of people who are unhoused and the often unacknowledged role of trauma in their lives. She wrote on these issues with insight and sensitivity, drawing on her own experiences on the streets. 

    Lori grew up in California and had a successful journalism career, reporting for the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Miami Herald. She wrote in the New York Times in 2021 that her “descent into homelessness felt as though it happened in the blink of an eye. It was as if one moment I was standing in a meadow next to my horses, stroking their manes, and the next I was lying inside a plastic garbage bag on a park bench, wrapping clothes around my shivering body. In fact, it happened over the course of 12 devastating months from 2013 to 2014.” 

    After several brutal years on the street, she regained her footing in 2017. By 2022, when Lori came to USC, her creative professional life was in full bloom. She was working on a memoir, collaborating with The New York Times and reporting for the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. 

    Please join us in honoring her special voice by continuing her tradition of trauma-informed reporting on homelessness. You can read her USC National Fellowship project about Denise’s last days, published in Slate, and her insights about reporting on the relationship between trauma and homelessness.

    Questions about the Lori Yearwood Fund? Reach out to us at [email protected].

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