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Lisa Martin, Producer & Community Advocacy Coordinator, & Adam Williams, Host of Looking Upstream talk about We Are Chaffee and the new Looking Upstream podcast with Ken Matthews on KHEN Radio

(Publication Date: 8.9.22)

Overview: Lisa Martin, producer for the new We Are Chaffee: Looking Upstream podcast and Community Advocacy Coordinator for the We Are Chaffee initiative, and Adam Williams, host of the new podcast, talk with Ken Matthews on the Chaffee Housing Report radio show on KHEN 106.9 in Salida, Colo.

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Lisa Martin

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Adam Williams

The conversation is the second of a two-part transition from the Chaffee Housing Report to We Are Chaffee: Looking Upstream, a human-forward, conversational, storytelling podcast that will focus on upstream health factors such as housing and living conditions, social inequities, and many related policies and systems in Chaffee County, Colo.

 

In this interview, Lisa elaborates on those upstream health factors, talks about the broader We Are Chaffee storytelling initiative, and announces who the first guests will be on the podcast. Adam shares some of his background, approach and energy for hosting Looking Upstream.

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SHOW NOTES, LINKS & TRANSCRIPT

 

We Are Chaffee

Website: wearechaffee.org

Facebook: facebook.com/WeAreChaffee

Instagram: instagram.com/wearechaffee

 

Chaffee Housing Authority

Website: chaffeehousingauthority.org

Facebook: facebook.com/ChaffeeHousingAuthority

 

Chaffee County Public Health

Website: chaffeecounty.org/public-health

Facebook: facebook.com/ccph81201

 

KHEN 106.9 Community Radio

Website: khen.org

Facebook: facebook.com/kHENCommunityRadio

Instagram: instagram.com/khenradio

CREDITS

Chaffee Housing Report host: Ken Matthews

Chaffee Housing Report engineer and producer: Jon Pray

We Are Chaffee graphic and web design: Heather Gorby

TRANSCRIPT

Note: Transcripts are produced using a transcription service. Although it is largely accurate, minor errors inevitably exist.

[Intro music, singing]

 

Ken Matthews (00:00): You are listening to KHEN radio 106.9 FM Salida, Colorado. This is the Chaffee Housing Report, soon to be We Are Chaffee: Looking Upstream. We are going to be doing our last show as the Chaffee Housing Report and we have the team that is taking over to keep the housing message coming your way. And beginning next month, Looking Upstream will include programming that tells housing and health stories of Chaffee County residents and how health cannot be discussed without addressing the housing needs.

 

This is the second and final show that is transitioning from the Chaffee Housing Report to Looking Upstream, sponsored by We Are Chaffee. We interviewed Becky Gray who is the Director of the Chaffee Housing Authority and Andrea Carlstrom, who is the Director of Chaffee County Public Health a couple of weeks ago, and kind of got an update on what We Are Chaffee dash Looking Upstream is going to be, and we have people here today that are really going to be the, I don't know, making the sausage, I guess you would say, see how things really happen. And I want to welcome them. We have Lisa Martin whose official position is Community Advocacy Coordinator. She actually works for the Chaffee County Public Health, but there's a lot of crossover in those departments. Welcome.

 

Lisa Martin (01:38): Thank you.

 

Ken Matthews (01:39): And our other guest is Adam Williams. Adam is going to take over hosting Looking Upstream and welcome, Adam.

 

Adam Williams (01:50): Thanks, Ken.

 

Ken Matthews (01:51): I'd like to find out a little bit about both of you in terms of how you came to Chaffee County, where you came from, what you did before this, what brought you here and how you found the experience of living here. Ladies first.

 

Lisa Martin (02:08): Yeah, I spent most of my life in Boulder, Colorado, and when I got there in 1981, it was such a lovely place. And when I left just a little bit over six years ago, it was a completely different place because of the growth that happened there. And to me, it was really the wealth and the entitlement of the newer people that were moving in there. I was a government employee working on environmental issues as the Parks Manager for Boulder, for the City of Boulder. And I just got tired of people telling me what I need to do. And it was very different than how Boulder used to be.

 

(03:00): My wife and I decided we're out of here, and we came to Salida, it's a lovely place here. We want to keep it lovely and that has to do with really getting involved in the community and trying to make a difference. So growing up in public service, this was kind of a natural fit for me. I volunteered on different grants, a Colorado Lottery Grant when I first moved here, with some nonprofits and met Andrea Carlstrom through that. I taught skiing for a while, which was awesome, Monarch's wonderful.

 

So I did a lot of different things to get involved in the community, Envision Process was amazing. I volunteered for Housing Policy Action Committee, where I met some really key players in the housing area. And when this position came up working with Becky Gray and Andrea Carlstrom, it was an easy yes, I just have to do this.

 

Ken Matthews (04:03): Awesome, thank you. Adam?

 

Adam Williams (04:06): Yeah, so my wife and I, and our two sons, we moved from Manitou Springs to Buena Vista about a year and a half ago. And we'd lived there for several years. It was a great entry point for us coming into Colorado. I actually grew up in Missouri, I've lived in different places. My wife has lived in different places, me with the army, her with the Peace Corps, some different things going on there, but Colorado was always something that would draw us back like so many people. And when we think about where we wanted our sons to be, the opportunities we wanted them to have, Colorado, of course is a leader in that kind of outdoor opportunity. So Manitou Springs, we came out here to Buena Vista, to Chaffee County and having the natural environment, knowing that it's what 75 plus percent is public land, the trails, the skiing, the river, all the opportunities, paddle boarding, all those things, that's what draws us here, like so many people.

 

(05:10): It's what we love to have surrounding us and how we spend our time and what we bring our boys up with. So for me, my background is in marketing and in journalism for nearly 20 years. And also then more recently and more recent years it's podcasting. And so to have this opportunity now to step in here, Ken, where you have for more than five years, been the voice of this show and for me to be able to take the microphone and add something going forward, that is from my skill set of storytelling has really been a serendipitous and an amazing opportunity that I'm excited about.

 

Ken Matthews (05:54): Well, it's an awesome next step for this show and the next step in discussing housing. This show's been pretty policy-focused, and I think that's very important. And, but we haven't really been able to tell stories of people who experience successes and failures in acquiring suitable housing. So I know that that is part of the focus that Looking Upstream is going to be imprinting on this show in the future. Can we talk a little bit about what each of your roles will be in bringing these stories? I know that you have a lab and you've done storytelling before, I've seen some of the stories that you've done, and I think that's been a big part of what you've done, right, Lisa?

 

Lisa Martin (06:50): Yeah, well, you may have heard the saying, "Facts inform us and stories influence us." And we're just so much more likely to remember an impactful emotional story than a set of facts. Nothing personal can about your Housing Report.

 

Ken Matthews (07:11): No, none taken.

 

Lisa Martin (07:14): But we started the storytelling effort in the end of 2019. And this was part of the Housing and Health Initiative that was funded through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Office of Health Disparities, and the focus is on health equity. So Andrea Carlstrom, Director of Chaffee County Public Health, Becky Gray, Director of Chaffee Housing Authority, designed and secured this grant with an ultimate goal of educating and creating awareness and action in our community in the areas of health and housing. So when we started the storytelling effort, we began with video storytelling and we contracted out with a national contractor who facilitates video storytelling.

 

Lisa Martin (08:04): So we recruited up to 10 people each time we did a workshop and those individuals created a video story that we later on then had a dinner and a movie event where we showed all of the videos as a movie to the public for free. And we include a free dinner to reduce barriers for those who cannot afford food or have to run from work and don't have time to stop and eat something. They have been very successful. We have had a huge diversity of stories from youth stories to older adults, stories of resilience, story of housing. They're just all over the park. My favorite being Like a Lion with Daniel Allison, who is a youth from Buena Vista telling his stories of difficulties of losing his mother. So I invite you to check him out on wearechaffee.org.

 

Ken Matthews (09:11): Thanks, that gives us an update on what you're looking to do. And are you actively trying to recruit people right now? Are you just kind of expecting people to call in or would it be possible if somebody hears about this, that they go, "Hey, I heard about this story telling regarding housing, you got a great story to call," call Lisa at?

 

Lisa Martin (09:35): Mm-hmm, absolutely. So we have our video storytelling workshop, which we're partnering with Colorado Mountain College here in Salida. So you can look at their recent catalog for their classes and see that they're hosting a video storytelling workshop here at CMC. As far as a podcast go, yes, please contact me through email at lmartin@chaffeecounty.org. And you can go to our website and find that information on our website as well.

 

Ken Matthews (10:08): Maybe the website for Public Health?

 

Lisa Martin (10:10): The website, wearechaffee.org.

 

Ken Matthews (10:13): Oh, okay, great, good distinction. Tell us a little more about We Are Chaffee. Tell us what that is, how it got started. And I know this storytelling folds into it, but it didn't start as a storytelling.

 

Lisa Martin (10:29): No, it didn't start as a storytelling effort. Really, it was an educational effort and we brought in housing experts from all over the country to educate our policy makers, developers, planners, board members, and any community member who is really interested in learning more about how we can solve the inequities in housing here in Chaffee County. Those were tremendous and very helpful for sort of setting a platform and creating a language that we all can share about housing here in Chaffee County. And we realized that we were missing most of the population through those educational processes. And we decided to start the storytelling effort, which is just so interesting and so personal that it really connects with people and we wanted to expand it so that more people would understand the impacts and the realities of the housing crisis here in Chaffee county.

 

Ken Matthews (11:33): Well, we were a fortunate beneficiary of some of those people that you brought in, almost all of them, to do interviews. And if anyone's interested in listening to some of those, you can go to khen.org, go to podcast, then click on the Chaffee Housing Report. And then I would recommend that you listen to people like Chuck Marohn, who started Strong Homes?

 

Lisa Martin (11:59): Strong Towns.

 

Ken Matthews (11:59): Strong Towns. There's Drew Finke, who was from the Bay Area. And he, for the first time sort of brought up the concept of missing middle housing, first time to me and talked about some really great ways that Salida could do some of that housing. There was Kevin Shepherd, I believe was another one that we interviewed that just had great ideas that specifically related to, as I recall, maximizing infrastructure and how to create highway corridors that actually work and both BV and Poncha Springs slash Salida has those corridors coming into town. And to me, they seem underutilized. So all those were really great shows and I thanks for being available to do that and making them available to us. Want to switch back to Adam. Adam, how do you see your role in bringing Looking Upstream to the public?

 

Adam Williams (13:22): So the storytelling aspect of We Are Chaffee, which now will include podcast as well is in my wheelhouse. I mentioned that skillset that started in journalism nearly 20 years ago, I've used that through corporate work and marketing and content marketing in all kinds of venues. Most recently it was in a podcast of my own that as it turns out has a very similar focus as Looking Upstream, and that is about humanness, to be human and share stories.

 

For me to sit one-on-one with people and have a conversation of in depth, that's really where my curiosity in life takes me. I consider myself a pretty decently functioning introvert, but a pretty strong introvert, nonetheless. I don't go to a cocktail party and say, "I'm going to meet 20 people tonight. I'm going to have 20 friends come out of this." What I want to have is a conversation of depth and meaning with one person. And when we have microphones and we have a podcast, we have a show, we have a name of something, especially one supported by in this case, the County and these efforts for housing and health, there's credibility there.

 

(14:40): And I think it's an opportunity that people will let their guard down, they're willing to speak, they're willing to answer the questions and share their stories, as I think an awful lot of people want to do when given an opportunity. So what I did with a podcast in recent years, it was called Humanitou, which there are a number of elements in that meaning.

 

But I said, I came from Manitou Springs, and that was where this podcast originated. And that was about talking with people, sharing their vulnerable, not only personal stories, but their insights on matters of meaning. It was with a lot of creative people, with civic leaders, with all sorts of people, a very diverse group that I look forward to talking with here in Chaffee County now. And it's that same concept that we got lucky and happened to I think kind of find each other where I have this skillset, I have this experience, I have this passion and interest in these kinds of conversations. And it turns out We Are Chaffee has an interest in someone doing this and I get to be that someone.

 

Ken Matthews (15:44): I'm getting to look at a man who's smiling very much while he talks about this sort of thing, that's really great. Did you have any issues finding housing when you moved here a year and a half ago? I mean, what's your story around housing?

 

Adam Williams (16:00): We did have some challenges. Obviously the market is always in flux, and you're sort of at the mercy of whatever the inventory is and what it offers you and what it has that you feel like you need for your family and for your life and what you can afford. And in hindsight, my wife and I have realized that had we not bought that... Not only at the time we did, but the house that we were fortunate enough to land with, we would not be living here now. The market kept shooting upward, it's out of our... We could not buy our house now, we were at the level of where we were able to get and have everything that we wanted to be able to provide for our family in life going forward in this amazing place.

 

We feel extremely lucky to be here. We're very aware of what the housing circumstances are for a lot of people, we feel very fortunate in where we are with that. And we want to engage in the community in all kinds of ways. But this is also another, I think, important opportunity for me personally, to be able to go forward with what we're talking about here, with Looking Upstream, with the team that's behind it.

 

Ken Matthews (17:14): You're listening to KHEN Radio 106.9 FM, Salida, Colorado. This is the Chaffee Housing Report. My guests are Lisa Martin with the Chaffee County Department of Public Health and Adam Williams, who is going to be the new host for our show, Looking Upstream, which is sponsored by We Are Chaffee. And we're talking about how that's going to be different from this show and brings a different viewpoint. You're looking at it from less policy and more the human factor, which I'm very excited to hear about that. Do you have people lined up yet to be on the show? And talk as much about it as you want or as little about it as you want. How did you get those people? What are their topics going to be? What's their training been to get ready for this podcast?

 

Lisa Martin (18:15): If I could back up a little bit and just-

 

Ken Matthews (18:18): You may.

 

Lisa Martin (18:18): -say, We Are Chaffee, Looking Upstream, so you might think it's a fishing podcast or something, but really that is a really strong public health term is Looking Upstream. So Looking Upstream refers to conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and play. So they can be social, which is race, sexual orientation, those sorts of things, institutional, which are laws and policies, schools, government, and the living environment, which is social service, physical housing and economic.

 

So we, the upstream factors to health, are also called social determinants of health. And we're capitalizing on the Looking Upstream because we want to focus on improving the upstream health factors here in Chaffee County. Downstream factors are many, but as you can imagine, if you're living under stress of any of those factors, you become stressed, your health suffers, you're at risk for a lot of negative health impacts. Example of this, life expectancy disparities can be found everywhere. And in Chicago, there is a 14 year life expectancy gap between lesser privileged and more affluent neighborhoods. So the whole idea is to create equity here in Chaffee and we're doing that through storytelling. With that, I'll answer Ken's question.

 

(20:26): So we have several people who are interested on participating in this podcast and being interviewed with Adam. The first person is an individual named Alexandra Restrepo, and she actually did a video story early on. She was one of the first people to do a video story and just, she's an outstanding member of the community. She has a rich background. She's very interesting and articulate. And so Alex and Adam will be meeting just sort of so that they can get to know each other and Adam can kind of help her understand what will be happening. So that's kind of the training is just Adam getting to know people and talking about their story. Other people who have said yes are Art Hutchinson, Rancher, just an outstanding person. He worked for the government working in national parks and protecting them. And his passion really is ranching in Chaffee County. And he's a, I think, fifth generation Chaffee County person believe.

 

Ken Matthews (21:36): Probably, I think that family's been around here since before the Civil War.

Lisa Martin (21:40): Yeah. We have a woman named Nikki from Solvista Health, who is an addiction counselor who only recently became sober. She has a rich story to share as well. We have lots of public health staff or people related to the public health issues that they do, dentistry, finding health insurance, those sort of things that are willing to come in. Yeah, so we have a great diversity of people who have said yes. We find these people through our partner organizations, which if you look on the We Are Chaffee website, we have many partner organizations just who have sort of shared missions of improving our community. And so we try to lift all those organizations up and they also help us by finding individuals that are interesting and have an interesting story to share. We've even had a video story about 4-H and different nonprofits. So yeah, and a lot of people want to share their story. So there's people that I come across that ask to share their story and want to. So if you know anybody who wants to be on the podcast or do a video story, just again, have them email me.

 

Ken Matthews (23:13): We will steer them your way. John and I wanted to do stories when we started doing this. And we found that many people who were housing-challenged were really unwilling to speak to us. I think that there's a couple of factors there. One is there's some level of shame about... Shouldn't be, it's often not their fault, but I think that pops up. And the other thing is our format, we bring somebody in kind of cold and talk to them about a topic, maybe send them an outline beforehand, whereas Adam's going to be able to meet these people, build a relationship, you're going to have a chance to have that in-depth conversation. That means so much to you, Adam. Do you want to describe your process when you get together with people to develop this trust and figure out which way the story's going to go and help them out on that?

 

Adam Williams (24:13): Yeah, for sure. I think that if people, for one, would check out Humanitou, which still is a live podcast out there, now that one is on hiatus. I've not created new conversations or episodes with Humanitou for about a year. It's available on Spotify, Apple, wherever it is you listen. But here's the reason I even mention it. I have talked with people of all ages from teenage up to at least into their 80s. I've talked with people from different backgrounds, whether that's economically, geographically, I've talked with people around the world on this podcast, all ways that we might identify, whether it's orientation, if it's race, we've talked about addiction and spirituality, religion. Off the top of my head, I'm just going to say, it's every imaginable human topic. It's love, it's death, it's health, it's all these things. This is what I'm already bringing to these conversations.

 

(25:17): I hope that people are going to be able to listen to the conversations we're starting off with. Lisa mentioned Alex, I look forward to talking with her. I know she has a tremendous story and what I hope they, as listeners and as guests, can get from talking with me, from listening to me is the compassion with which I listen, that what I'm doing is facilitating that storytelling, that there is no judgment, there's no controversy from my view.

 

It simply is a matter of helping shine light on this person who is courageously sitting across the table from me sharing all the things that they don't go around talking about on any given day. And I am a stranger, every single person that I've ever talked with with these kinds of conversations started off as a stranger. And I appreciate how much people step up to the microphone and share.

 

(26:12): Sometimes they share more than they expected to, more than they thought they would coming into the conversation with me. I take that seriously and in terms of faithfully with respect for their story and how I handle that. So as we build this podcast and this show and the storytelling going forward, I think what people will, as listeners, are going to have a chance to hear is everything I just described, that there's hopefully a trustworthy environment we are creating and people feel like they can share a story.

 

And if they hear one person share their story vulnerably and they related to it and they connected with it, then they are more willing to share theirs or they know someone who is. So I think simply by carrying out that practice in a trustworthy, faithful way, we're going to find some more of those doors opening. It's obviously a very valid point you bring up that when we're dealing with people maybe feeling a little sensitive, maybe feeling a little bit of shame about something in their story, if they give this a chance, I think what they'll learn is that there's an environment and a place where they can come and they can be welcome to share that and be received.

 

Ken Matthews (27:28): And it can be healing.

 

Adam Williams (27:29): It can, not only for them, but for others, because I think the ones who have the courage, they're able to step up to that and open themselves and share vulnerably, that's what's going to make a difference here. And that's what the purpose of all of this storytelling is, is to have that influence that Lisa talked about. And I think that people are going to like where we go with this.

 

Ken Matthews (27:54): I'm excited about it. And I don't feel any pains of handing this off, I really don't. I think this is going to be a great next step for the discussion of housing and health on KHEN Radio. So we're going to take just a break here. This is the Chaffee Housing Report on KHEN Radio 106.9 FM. We'll be back with our guests, Lisa Martin and Adam Williams after a short break, please stay with us.

[musical interlude]

 

You are listening to KHEN Radio 106.9 FM Salida, Colorado. This is the second half of the Chaffee Housing Report. And we still have our first half hour guest, Lisa Martin from the Chaffee County Department of Public Health and Adam Williams, who is going to be the host of We Are Chaffee Looking Upstream that is replacing Chaffee Housing Report with a really great concept. Welcome back on our half hour. Something came up during our break and couple things came up for me, one was this term Looking Upstream. I mean, is that something that public health tries to do to influence factors before they become a problem? Is that where that term comes from?

 

Lisa Martin (29:26): Yes, it's a nationally-used term and it really identifies the root issues that impact inequitable health outcomes for people. So health equity is when everyone, regardless of who they are, where they come from, has a opportunity to thrive. So we all want to thrive. Some of us have better opportunity than other. So we need to eliminate barriers like poverty, repairing injustices in systems, such as education, health, criminal justice, transportation, housing, land use regulations.

 

Ken Matthews (30:14): Lending for housing?

 

Lisa Martin (30:15): Absolutely, yes.

 

Ken Matthews (30:18): Redlining that went on forever in this country that made it impossible for certain populations to get fair lending rates.

 

Lisa Martin (30:28): Absolutely, yeah, based on who they are, yeah. So that's the ultimate goal is health equity. So, those factors that we just talked about are upstream health factors and those upstream health factors influence downstream effects. So you can imagine a family in Chaffee County who is living paycheck to paycheck and they have good jobs. It's pretty common here, especially with the dramatic increase cost of housing and inflation. So imagine the rent on their home keeps increasing annually. They eventually can't afford to repair their car and have no dependable transportation. They no longer can afford quality childcare. They struggle to keep a job because of all this. So as you can imagine yourself in this situation, you're extremely stressful. You're looking for food for your family. You're looking for money for rent. You're looking to solve all these really unbelievable overwhelming issues that your family's facing.

 

Ken Matthews (31:49): Completely existential issues, every one of those.

 

Lisa Martin (31:53): Absolutely. So this long term stress that's caused just trying to live a healthy and productive life really impacts our stress and our health. So people who are living in difficult situations like this experience downstream factors for their health, such as smoking, poor nutrition, low physical activity, violence, alcohol, substance use, sexual behavior that's not safe. And then these can lead to injury such as addiction, chronic disease, and it goes on and on. So really just who you are and where you come from can greatly influence your health outcomes of you and your family and it can be generational as well. So here in Chaffee County, the goal is to focus on those upstream factors of health so that the downstream factors, those negative health factors that impact people inequitably are less. So we want to create a healthy community, one where we know our neighbors, one where we support everybody, and it is more resilient because we care about each other and we want each other to live a healthy life.

 

Ken Matthews (33:40): What brings to mind for me is another organization that I've been involved with for over six years, close to six years maybe, is Full Circle Restorative Justice. You talk about having impact on the judicial system and particularly when you're talking about upstream, often we're dealing with youth who get in trouble. Either they get in trouble at school, they get in trouble within the school system, or they get in an encounter with the law, breaking the law. And we know that there's a school-to-prison pipeline, it's been proven that many of the people who end up in prison got in trouble in school, and that particular behavior became criminalized.

 

And it's become more of a factor as we've gone along because of the fears that exist in schools now about there being shooters and abhorrent behavior that starts in school that becomes unhealthy for a lot of people. And certainly shooting is the biggest one that's going on, but there's all these other things. And many, many times in doing that work, you find that it's just not the child who's experiencing difficulty. They're experiencing difficulty because their family is experiencing difficulty. That may look like not being sheltered. It may look like not having transportation, all these things you've mentioned, it may look like generational addiction that they're born into. So all these things fit within what you were talking about, it seems to me.

 

Lisa Martin (35:33): Yeah, and again, you bring up a good point of, kind of generational. I mean, fetal alcohol syndrome is very real and really impacts the kids. And IQs are decreased and functionality in society is decreased because of it. And we need to break the cycle. And by doing that, we really need to focus on kids and environments where they grew up.

 

Ken Matthews (36:03): Well, I'd like to go back to Adam. One of the things we talked about on the break was your commitment to being yourself, personally, vulnerable during these interviews. And I'd like you to have an opportunity to say that on the air, why that is different and it's important to you.

 

Adam Williams (36:29): Sure, well, I tend to think of these as conversations, as opposed to interviews. That's probably very minor difference and some people might be wondering, "Well, what's really the difference at all?" But for me with an interview, if I sit on my side of the desk and I just fire off all the questions and I stay personally detached, I'm just hanging that guest out there. And I'm putting expectations on them that they dig deep and they open themselves up and they share raw, vulnerable aspects of their life story. And I just don't think that's fair.

 

I also don't think it's doing any of us, the audience, the guest, or myself, engaging in this conversation in the best way possible, because what I'm doing is not only building trust, right, which I referred to before, and I think is critical for these kinds of conversations with each other, but I might be even doing the opposite of it. I might be showing them I'm just a wall without emotions, without actual care.

 

(37:33): And I think lack of empathy is that the heart of so many reasons we need this storytelling and why we need this podcast and among all the other efforts. So often, societally, we write off each other in stories and disbelieve them. We make the excuses, we have our own shortcuts, "Well that person's to blame for their poverty, that person's to blame for their drug addiction, for their homelessness," whatever it might be instead of being willing to empathetically look at or listen to their story and come to understand, "Well, what are all of the elements, the very complicated, maybe historical elements of what brought this person, what brought these people to this place?" Why do we have the generational issues that are going on here and how... This might be the trickiest part for most people, how is it that I might have a role in that? How have we all factored into that?

 

(38:30): And I can tell you that I come from a place more of privilege, not necessarily financially in my youth, but my parents were teachers. They were educated and they believed education mattered. So of course they're going to have an influence on me to go get education, and so on. I absolutely have had privilege in the things that I have. So for me to turn away from other people's stories, because I want to write them off as, "Well, that's a racial matter. That's a, whatever the issue is, economic matter." It doesn't make sense to me. So when I talk with people in these kinds of conversations, I think it's absolutely only fair and important that I be willing to connect with them and share to show that I'm also vulnerable and a human. And I'm listening with empathy and compassion, and I'm not there to judge.

 

Ken Matthews (39:20): Well, I think it allows the listener to have that opportunity to go not how is this person different from me? That's part of it, it's also, how is this person like me? How, but for a particular incident in my background that went one way rather than the other way that my current situation would be very different than it is? And what all those factors that you're talking about are factors that we all intersect with in our lifetimes.

 

And some people are more prepared for those incidents when they come up and so they behave differently and move a different direction. Some people don't have that experience, they move the other way. But it's a common human condition or circumstance that we almost all come across at some point in time. My children are the product of a divorce. Our divorce was involved and that has an impact on them. I didn't have that growing up. And I didn't know how to necessarily be a parent that was not together with the other party, with my wife at the time when that occurred. So there's all that... I hear you. Lisa wants say something, she's got her hand up. Jump in here.

 

Lisa Martin (41:07): I want to challenge our listeners that when they see a person do something bad, instead of saying, "What's wrong with them?" Or something that I can't say on the air instead say, "What happened to them?" And you'll have a whole different perspective. What happened to them comes with some compassion versus what's wrong with them is all blame.

 

Ken Matthews (41:40): Good distinction. The other thing I wanted to get to, because it's going to be a difference between the Chaffee Housing Report and Looking Upstream is your distribution network. I mean, what I find fascinating the more I look at housing and with you bringing the health aspect in, it even broadens it more, that these issues are certainly nationwide in this country. This isn't just a problem in Salida and not just a problem in Colorado, it's a problem in almost every place you go in this country. Now housing is an issue and I think there's some kind of sinister reasons for that, but we may not be able to address all those. But it is a conversation that's going on all over the country and tell us what's going to happen to these podcasts beyond being on KHEN radio.

 

Adam Williams (42:45): Right, so as a podcast, we have the opportunity not only to put it on the air here at KHEN and have listeners that are local, but as you just described, this is far from a local matter. So by using the platforms that probably all the listeners here are already familiar with, when they listen to podcasts, you might listen on Spotify, Apple, Audible, Google, the list goes on and on. And most of us have one, maybe two of those listening platforms that we are used to using. Well, now, going forward, We Are Chaffee: Looking Upstream is going to be released, distributed on all of those platforms.

 

So not only here at the community radio station on KHEN, but it's going to be out on whatever platform it is you're used to listening to. So you're going to have access, even if you are local on the platform that you're most comfortable with, what's most familiar, but yes, it also then reaches globally. So we will have listeners from far beyond Chaffee County's boundaries. And I look forward to whatever connections that might also make and where this might be able to go by opening up to that kind of a scale.

 

Ken Matthews (44:04): It might just, as a possibility, you may connect with somebody else. That's doing something similar to what you're doing and comparing and contrasting what's going on with that. I mean, there's going to be different learnings in different places. I suspect that all those learnings will be very similar over time, but there's going to be the first ah-ha in one place and the other place that ah-ha's a little different. And it gives the opportunity to make us all smarter because we have the experience of more people. That's really exciting to me. I don't know how it is for you or if you thought about that.

 

Adam Williams (44:43): Well, sure. I would say that in general, just with storytelling, by willing to be open and communicate by sharing these things, right, even in the one-on-one setting and in the podcast, as it goes far and wide, right, we can't have those connections if we don't open up, if we don't share what it is we know.

 

Ken Matthews (45:02): You're listening to KHEN Radio 106.9 FM. This is the second half hour of the Chaffee Housing Report. My guests are Lisa Martin with the Chaffee County Department of Public Health and Adam Williams, who is a podcast person who is going to be taking over the leadership... Well, I don't know if leadership is actually it, part of a team. He's going to be the voice of that team with We Are Chaffee: Looking Upstream.

 

Lisa Martin (45:35): Since you brought up the team, I just want to mention that We Are Chaffee, as I mentioned before, we started out with video storytelling and we're continuing to do that through a partnership with Colorado Mountain College. We also have written storytelling that will be coming out later this summer. And those will be similar to Humans of New York short maybe 400 word stories about a moment in somebody's life that's been very impactful. So we hired a few story writers. They're interviewing people right now, and we hope to get that out to the public sometime later this summer. And we'll do that on the website and also in person.

 

So we're planning on making signs out of them so they can be weatherproof and have them at outdoor events, post them indoors, for example, the lobby of Colorado Mountain College, maybe the hallway in front of public health and in various other places so that people who normally wouldn't listen to a podcast or wouldn't watch a video can stumble upon these and read about people's stories here in Chaffee County.

 

(46:50): We have a steering committee for We Are Chaffee and I really need to call them out because they helped shape who we are and how we've progressed. And they really are the heart and soul of We Are Chaffee. So real quick, I'm just going to mention Nick Ryder. He is a marketing and tech guru. He's also with Community Equity Coalition here in Chaffee county. Paul Alexander, he's from Regis University. He led sort of a communications storytelling effort there as a Director of a Department. And he is also with Community Foundation here in Chaffee County. Heather Gorby, small business owner and graphic designer.

 

Amy Dennis is with Colorado Mountain College. And Mike Orrill, he was of the first Presbyterian Church here in Salida Pastor for 27 years. He knows a ton about this county and he knows a ton of people. And now he works for public health on special projects, including addiction and helping with the unhoused folks and the hospitality group here in the county. So we have a really amazing and dedicated steering committee that has helped really set the foundation of the storytelling effort. And I just wanted to acknowledge who they are and all the work they've done. So thank you to them.

 

Ken Matthews (48:25): Thank you all of you out there have been helping with this. We've got just a few minutes left before I'm going to do the final sign off for the Chaffee Housing Report. And I wanted to see if there's any thoughts that you have that you haven't had a chance to express, Adam?

 

Adam Williams (48:41): I'm sure there are a lot of things and hopefully over time we'll get into them. But the one thing I'm going to go with now is to add on to the distribution comments we just had, all of the podcasts going forward will be at wearechaffee.org okay? So there will be pages there specifically to go to find each one. And what I really want to single out about that is that there's going to be transcriptions, there's going to be show notes. This is a matter in part of inclusivity, which is what I want everyone to know going forward, that when we talk about audience and guests, I want everyone to be involved, to feel like they're welcome to feel like they're part of it. That when they listen, they can hear themselves. You mentioned relatability earlier in the stories that when we share what we hear is not what's different, but what is actually similar between ourselves.

 

(49:34): And I want people to know that all voices are welcome. I look forward to talking with people who bring whatever their story is, and that ultimately that inclusivity does stretch to We Are Chaffee and where the podcast will be there. In terms of those show notes, where we can find relevant links, you'll find a photo, I'm going to... I'm also a photographer so I will be photographing each guest, get to know this person. And then through the transcript, if you prefer not to listen maybe, or if maybe you are hearing impaired, you'll have full transcripts there.

 

Ken Matthews (50:06): All right, awesome ideas, all of them. I want to thank our guests today, Lisa Martin, from the Chaffee County Department of Public Health and Adam Williams. I am looking forward to what you're going to do moving forward, this team here. I do want to take just these last few minutes to make some acknowledgements. I want to thank John Pray for being the Engineer and Producer of this show and taking a radio novice like myself and helping me along in this process. John's become a very good friend, I'm grateful for his work on the Chaffee Housing Report. And I'm very proud of the work that we've done. John and I have produced 105 shows since our first show on June 13th, 2017. This show is undertaken because we recognized a dire need to address the housing crisis in Chaffee County that results in many inequities for many of our friends and neighbors. Unfortunately the housing crisis hasn't gotten better it's gotten worse since we began the Chaffee Housing Report. And I feel comforted by the fact that many talented people are working on this issue and this show's going to be taken over and made better. And that's all you can hope for.

 

(51:38): The following is going to be my opinions and not the opinions of these guests here or the opinions of KHEN Radio. But we need a consistent, predictable source of funding for housing. There's increased funding for the housing at the state and the federal level, but not all of that may be available for us here in Chaffee County. And certainly it's not going to be available if we're not willing to step up and say, we're part of the solution and just look for other people to come in here and solve it. It needs to be... Well, there's not currently a consistent predictable source of funding for housing in Chaffee County and there must be, or the housing crisis here will continue to persist and increase. The housing-challenged, we've talked about them on this show today, they're our friends and neighbors, they are people who take care of our children and are elderly. ,They teach our children, they lead our schools. They build repair and maintain our roads, utilities, infrastructure, and public buildings.

 

(52:39): They work for the county, our municipalities, our hospitals, save us when we encounter fires or other emergencies. They prepare our food and they service in restaurants, bars, and shops. They police our streets, our roads, and in summary, they are us. This problem needs to be solved by funding that our entire community contributes to. And keep this in mind in future months when you're asked to vote on a funding solution for this problem. Don't say it's not my problem. The future of our community relies on solving the housing crisis in Chaffee County. It's our problem. It's not the time to blame anyone, it's a time for action. The quality of life that you were born with, you were born here in Chaffee County or you came to Chaffee County to experience, is threatened. Be part of the solution and support and or vote for housing funding initiatives when they are presented.

 

You're listening to KHEN Radio 106.9 FM. Thanks to our guests, Lisa Martin and Adam Williams. Thanks to my Producer, Jon Pray and thanks to listeners for listening and supporting this show for the last five years.