Methodology of Project

The Forgotten Fight Oral History Project is a project that interacts with the recorded interviews of veterans about their homelessness journey through an online webpage.[1] The success of the project was highly dependent on finding individuals willing to participate in the project and it comes about in collaboration with Virginia Supportive Housing and Liberation Family Services. While much background on the issue of homelessness was established through interviews with service providers in Pennsylvania, the project and interviews themselves were conducted in Richmond, Virginia. After completing preliminary background research and interviews, the oral history portion of the project was conducted the week of March 15, 2016. Interviews were arranged and organized with the help of Virginia Supportive Housing’s Libby Tofflemire, the Veteran Services Supervisor, veteran case manager Desiree Taylor and Mr. Fletcher of Liberation Family Services. Interviews conducted with Harold, James, and Evette took place in their homes. The remainder of the interviews took place at the Liberation Family Services Transitional House in downtown Richmond. All interviewees signed informed consent forms that explained the rationale of the project, conditions of the interview, and allowed them to pick a method of documentation for their oral histories.[2] Most interview subjects opted in for video and audio recording. Richard was the only one who did not want his image used but agreed to an audio interview. Interviewees were asked to review the questions before starting the interview so that they could think about what they wanted to say, or ask the interviewer to avoid certain questions or topics.[3] No one opted out of any questions. Once the interviews were completed, they were electronically saved and processed. A team of five people, two of whom are Franklin and Marshall students, transcribed each interview to the best of their ability. Transcribed copies of the interviews are being sent to each participant so that they may have record of their participation in this project to do with as they wish.[4] The video and audio copies of each interview have been saved in their original form as well as in addition to being processed for this project. Clips for this project were extracted and processed, but left largely unedited. In many clips, the interviewer’s questions and voice have been removed so that the clip is truly the veteran’s story and original voice. Clips have been linked together in some cases by theme or topic.[5]

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] The word journey is used to talk about the interviewee’s struggle with homelessness. For many of those interviewed, they did not view their homelessness as being over or static, despite being housed. The word journey is used to convey the general cycle of homelessness.

[2] A copy of the informed consent form is located in the appendix

[3] A copy of the questions can be found in the appendix

[4] Transcribed copies of the interviews can be found in the appendix

[5] According to Doing Oral History’s best practice methods, it is acceptable to remove the voice of the interviewer in order to provide the subject the full focus of the interview.