Consultant - Speakers' Bureau Training Program

Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance

Job Description

Organization Overview:
MHSA is a small nonprofit with a dedicated staff of 15 full-time employees whose mission is to end homelessness in Massachusetts. We believe that housing is the solution to homelessness, and we serve as an intermediary between direct service agencies and state and federal government to create evidence-based programs. The focus of these programs is to get people out of shelters and emergency housing and into stable, permanent housing with support services.

Speakers’ Bureau Overview:
Over the past 10 years, the Speakers’ Bureau has empowered people in Massachusetts who have experienced homelessness to share their stories and educate communities on the lived realities of homelessness while advocating for housing-centered solutions.

The MHSA Speakers’ Bureau is a program through which people who have previously experienced homelessness learn public speaking and advocacy skills and educate and advocate for solutions to homelessness across Massachusetts. The Speakers’ Bureau has presented to over 20,000 audience members, and currently consists of 7 active Speakers, with 14 new Speakers being onboarded.

Goals of Speakers’ Bureau Training Program:
The Speakers’ Bureau last held a training in late 2019. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have presented virtually for over a dozen classes and community groups. We recently recruited 14 new Speakers, with an emphasis on including people of diverse races, genders, ethnicities, and experiences of homelessness. During summer 2021, we would like to create a new training program to support the Speakers in public speaking, developing their personal narrative, and advocacy. This training will be the one of several training modules taking place and is mandatory for all new Speakers. The training will provide:
  1. Skills in public speaking, both online and in person, and having strong presence while presenting
  2. Tools for developing a personal narrative that is powerful and grounded in lived experience, but that doesn’t require Speakers to retraumatize themselves for the audience
  3. Guidance on how to speak about experiences and answer questions off-the-cuff as suited to various audiences
  4. Examples of how racial inequity & inequality is present in housing & homelessness
  5. Self-care and journaling to encourage reflection as part of the Speakers’ Bureau
After the trainings, speakers should feel equipped to:
  1. Share their personal knowledge of homelessness with a range of audiences
  2. Answer questions related to homelessness, inequity, and stigma
  3. Discuss their ideas for solutions and advocacy related to ending homelessness

Services to be provided and deliverables:
The consultant, with assistance from the Speakers’ Bureau Coordinator at MHSA, will develop a training curriculum (in a long-form outline and as a presentation) to engage Speakers’ Bureau members in public speaking, personal narrative, and education around homelessness.
Additionally, the program and curriculum created should be transferable for future trainings, such that the Speakers’ Bureau Coordinator could give the training to a new group of Speakers or other Speakers can be taught how to lead the training.
Training Details:
  • 3-4 in-person training sessions
  • 1-2 virtual training sessions
  • All sessions completed by August 2021
  • Sessions will be in small groups of 3-4 Speakers
  • Sessions should be no longer than 1.5 hours each
  • Slides for a personal narrative and public speaking training for Speakers
  • Training outline and curriculum on personal narrative and public speaking, for long-term use by MHSA staff and Speakers

Based on the first set of training sessions, the curriculum (long-term and training presentation) will be modified accordingly to make improvements by the consultant with input from the Speakers’ Bureau Coordinator.

Support from MHSA:
Throughout this project, MHSA will provide:
  • Recent qualitative evaluations of the Speakers’ Bureau program by participants, that highlight focus areas for the training
  • Recordings of previous Speakers’ Bureau engagements for context and reference
  • Notes and materials from past trainings for the Speakers’ Bureau
  • Notes from 1:1s done with onboarded Speakers about their expectations
  • Updates from Speakers on what they are seeking/what is important to provide in the training
  • Access to zoom when necessary for scheduling virtual meetings or prep sessions
  • Office conference room for hosting in-person trainings

We are seeking a consultant or team of consultants who are committed to racial and ethnic equity, and have the following qualifications:
  • Trauma-informed care background
  • Experience in leadership development
  • Ability to work with people of different races, ages, experiences with housing & other differences
  • Ability to train people who have varied experiences with prior public speaking
  • Capacity for online & in-person trainings in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Knowledge of housing and homelessness in Massachusetts preferred
People of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, and people with other marginalized identities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Click here to review the full RFP:

Proposal Submission:
• 1-2 page project proposal
• Resume or CV
• Budget proposal not to exceed $5,000
• Please submit proposals no later than Friday, June 11th via e-mail to Renee Korgood, Speakers’ Bureau Coordinator at with the subject line: “Speakers Bureau Training – Project Proposal”

This posting can be found on the MHSA website at this link: