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Reflections on Homelessness – Our Future Can Still Be Bright – National Homelessness Week 2022 voice and photo exhibition

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The Reflections on Homelessness – Our Future Can Still Be Bright exhibition was hosted by ac.care at Murray Bridge Town Hall on August 2, but is now available online in digital format.

Hosted as part of National Homelessness Week 2022, the event provided an opportunity for people who have experienced homelessness to express themselves by sharing photographs, written reflections and recorded audio statements, offering unique insight into their lives.

Explore this page to listen to our community's voice through recordings and reflect on the photographs after the exhibition promoted self-expression to raise awareness of the housing crisis across Australia and our community.

ac.care would like to acknowledge and thank the people who contributed to this exhibition by sharing their personal experiences through images and audio.

WARNING: Some content featured below from the 2022 exhibition is confronting and includes themes of homelessness, substance abuse and domestic violence. Viewer and listener discretion is advised.

If you or someone you know is homeless or at risk, contact your local ac.care office on 1300 ACCARE (1300 222 273) or out of hours contact the Homelessness Gateway on 1800 003 308. An appointment will be made for you to see one of our specialist homelessness workers. We will work with you to either try to keep a tenancy, find safe and stable accommodation options or support you with emergency relief.

 

Family violence prompts turmoil

 

I was a victim of family violence from a young age.

In the space of 10 years, I was in over 22 homes and in some instances, I did not know where I would be sleeping.

My mental health spiralled and I became homeless at 16.

Now I am in my own home and about to give two weeks’ notice to go after another opportunity with family interstate.

I have learnt how to set boundaries and recognise my own values.

While everything is not perfect, it is much better than before.

 

Press play below to hear more

 

 

Women's shelter feels like home

 

I was supported by a worker in a family support program and she referred me to a women’s shelter.

I had to wait for an available unit for myself and my daughter.

I had to wait two months for a unit, I had nowhere else to go,

I had to stay with him.

I found out I was pregnant again, days before a unit became available and I was able to leave.

I left while he was at work, taking only what would fit in the car.

I did not think of myself as homeless while living in the unit at the shelter, it felt like home, safety and security.

Press play below to hear more

 

Moving on from drugs

I have been homeless because living with family was difficult due to drug use.

I have also experimented in drugs at a much younger age, but now I want to live with better opportunities.

I am getting a lot of support. I am no longer homeless, I am doing well and independent.

 

Press play below to hear more

 

 

Thankful for safety and support

Homelessness to me was one of the scariest things I had to contend with.

My whole world had fallen apart and I felt as if I had nothing left.

Being accepted into shelter with my baby saved my life. We had somewhere safe to stay until I could figure out our next move.

I have been forever thankful for the safety that gave me.

Press play below to hear more

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Working hard to achieve goals

 

Before my homelessness, I owned my own property - due to family court I was made homeless, which resulted in drug and alcohol abuse.

Since moving to Murray Bridge and adopting my dog I have secured a sense of purpose and made better decisions to provide myself and my dog with a better life.

I now have a home, and I am about to start a new job.

I have worked hard to better my situation and achieve goals faster than I thought would be possible at this stage in my journey.

 

Press play below to hear more

 

 

Childhood homelessness impacts on life

 

My family moved to Murray Bridge when I was a small child. This time in my life involved surroundings and situations over which a 5-year-old would have no control.

I have learned lessons through others in my life, which has impacted my growth mindset impeccably; I knew from an early age who I did not want to be and what my aspirations were.

In a system designed to ‘protect’ children, and though my experiences in foster care were no better than my home life, I remember parenting from the age of 6, carrying the worries of adult life and displacement from family.

Press play below to hear more

 

 

Support gets life back on track

I found support with ac.care and I am currently working on my mental health.

The goals I have for myself are slowly coming to light.

I am happy and in safe housing. My life is back on track.

 

Press play below to hear more