Since 1976, Marjorie Bard  has broken the myth that all homeless people
are in some way responsible for their grievous predicaments.  She has
revealed a formidable and ever-increasing  population of lone women who
are functional, usually over 50, and longtime workers or homemakers who
are unable to survive on current finances or find new employment.  They
describe reduced circumstances: from home to apartment to moving in
with friends or children to living out of vehicles, undetectable and self-
sufficient.  They have learned that to identify oneself to any public or private
agency leads to loss of dignity as well as items worth over $1000–and a
permanent downward spiral of quality of life from which there is no way to
regain a place in mainstream society.  And, in 2003, they are joined by thou-
sands who are the victims of (still-unfolding) executive malfeasances which
have decimated employee  401K plans; company layoffs;  plant/factory/
small company closings; and more offshore movement of Americans’ jobs.
The personal narratives of many more affected homeless people will emerge
–and they will not be from addicts, the mentally ill, or loafers....

Dr. Bard has listened to the life experiences of personal, social, economic,
and legal injustices that are pervasive in our society, and having encountered
similar situations with systems that do not protect but further victimize, she
founded Women Organized Against Homelessness (WOAH), a nonprofit
organization which provides hands-on and networking assistance, promoting
innovative strategies for self-sufficiency.  She has contributed a doctoral
dissertation (UCLA, 1988);  two books: Shadow Women: Homeless Women’s
Survival Stories (Sheed & Ward, 1990) and Organizational and Community
Responses to Domestic Abuse and Homelessness (Garland, 1994); many
conference presentations (including the CA Governor’s Conference [3-hour
workshop] and the national Oral History Association meeting [“The Language
of Poverty: Semantics, Symbolism, and Aesthetics in Expressing Homeless-
ness”]; numerous academic journal and magazine articles published in the
U.S. and abroad; and her personal experience with battered and homeless
women (3 ½ years of in-shelter direct services and as Domestic Violence
Victim Advocate for a Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office).

Dr. Bard has received The Giraffe Foundation’s humanitarian award (for
“sticking her neck out and putting herself at risk”); a certificate of leadership-
program completion from the national NeighborWorks Institute; a workshop-
leader certificate from the Los Angeles County Job Retraining Program; and
a certificate from the W. L.A. Veteran’s Hospital (“Stepping Out of
Homelessness”) for her work at their “Stand-downs.”  Her involvement with
the Prison Reform Act resulted in an investigation of the Indiana DOC, leading
to obtaining surgery for a Vietnam veteran who had been refused any medical

Dr. Bard has appeared on “60 Minutes” and many TV and radio shows to
discuss the root causes of and solutions to domestic abuse, unemployment,
and homelessness.  She has written grants for small nonprofit organizations
so they could offer assistance to minority groups pertaining to low-cost
housing and services, and supports intentional communities which are
Community Land Trusts.  Her current projects are documentaries and books
which outline the process of recasting dying or abandoned small towns via
sweat equity labor housing, new businesses/e-commerce, co-ops for organic
farming and animal raising, and strategic eco-sensitive planned communities.

She is presently a field producer for and helping pioneer a new
kind of journalism from the streets of America.  Beyond reality TV, beyond a book
where the data is many times dated by the time you read the story.


Stories from 2003

Stories from 2004-2005

Stories from 2006

Stories from 2007

Stories from 2008

To contact Marjorie Bard

© 2003-2009 Marjorie Bard.  All Rights Reserved.
This can in no way be copied or distributed.