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00000181-fa79-da89-a38d-fb7f2b910000KUOW is joining forces with other Seattle media outlets to highlight the homeless crisis in the city and region on Wednesday, June 29, 2017.The effort was modeled after a collaboration by more than 70 San Francisco outlets to focus a day of news attention on the issue and possible solutions.Read more about the Seattle project and check out our coverage below. Follow the city's coverage by using #SeaHomeless.HighlightsThe Jungle: an ongoing coverage project going into the notorious homeless encampment under Interstate 5.Ask Seattle's Homeless Community: KUOW is launching a Facebook group where anyone may ask a question about homelessness, but only people who have experienced it may answer. This was inspired by a recent event KUOW co-presented with Seattle Public Library and Real Change, where residents of the Jungle answered audience questions. No End In Sight: an award-winning investigative project from KUOW about King County's 10-year plan to end homelessness.

UW's new class to 'translate culture of homelessness' to med students

SHARE Tent Camp 3
Paige Browning
/
KUOW
SHARE will host its 'Tent City 3' camp at UW until March 2017. It can accomodate around 90 people.

The University of Washington is marking some firsts in its involvement with the homeless community.

The Seattle campus is hosting a tent camp for the next three months. On top of that, UW is offering a class on homelessness for health science students.

With the University of Washington's approval, a tent camp under the organization SHARE has set up in a campus parking lot.

Resident Lori Perry says it's a little smaller than some of their previous camps, but she likes the UW spot.

Perry: "Yeah it's a lot smaller, but we have electricity. So we're able to heat up our food whenever. We can have coffee all day to keep warm, so that's a big plus."

Starting January 5, university students will do outreach work at the camp as part of the new curriculum. UW Medicine faculty member Lois Thetford is leading the course. She has more than 40 years of experience offering health care to homeless people in Seattle.

Thetford: "No one wants to tell you that they're homeless, so people don't just come out and say 'I'm homeless', but everyone who sees patients sees homeless patients, whether they know they're homeless or not."

Thetford said it's also critical that medical and dental students know about unique needs of patients who are homeless. That's part of what they'll learn about in the 10 week course. She said where medical offices have translators for other languages, this course will work to be a translator to the culture of homelessness.

Thetford said she is hoping the university will host the class again, even once the tent city has left campus.

Both ideas, the tent camp and the related coursework, were inspired by a student group called Tent City Collective.