With more than twenty years experience as a journalist, Julie Akins has served as News Director in network newsrooms around the nation. Additionally, she has reported as an on-air journalist in San Francisco and San Diego, as well as an on-air and investigative reporter in Tampa. Akins also worked with the Center for Investigative Reporting on their California Watch project. CIR is known for their work for PBS Frontline and Pro-Publica. Akins has written for numerous publications and taught journalism at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon and Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Akins majored in Political Science and was granted a fellowship with the Poynter Institute for investigative reporting. The focus of her most recent work is to chronicle homelessness throughout the west coast. Her work has been featured on CNN, and she is a frequent writer and lecturer on the subject. Akins partnership with AllCare Health, with a focus on Southern Oregon’s homeless, has been ongoing since 2017.
"Randy is a dear friend of mine. He was homeless for more than 20 years. Through our many conversations and mutual interests I learned his story. By understanding more about his life I became curious about the lives of others. I'm grateful for my friends in all their ways of living, especially those who fall into homelessness from a system which leaves many behind. You can find Randy's full story I wrote for the newspaper here."
"Lilith has seven children. All were living and loving each other in a bus but it was very rough. No heat, no power, no bathrooms or play places. In hundreds of interviews homeless families told me what Lilith said--they desired a fully functioning bus they could afford to keep forever. I heard them and want to enable this dream. She was doing her best for her children but couldn't cook for them. Alone, her husband ill and not with them, she longed for the opportunity to care for her sweet and loving kids. That never came for this family. Her children became a part of the foster system and I lost touch with Lilith. But this project honors her and all families struggling."