PEOPLE who have experienced sleeping rough in Murray Bridge will share their experiences in a special photography and audio exhibition to mark National Homelessness Week.
The Reflections on Homelessness – Our Future Can Still Be Bright exhibition will be hosted at Murray Bridge Town Hall by ac.care.
ac.care’s Murray Bridge homelessness staff have encouraged people they have supported to overcome or avoid homelessness to contribute photographs and recordings to share their experiences and insight into the personal impact of being without a stable home.
The exhibition opening will be held at 10am on August 2.
“Join us for the day to hear our community's voice through recordings and self-expression with photographs to raise awareness of the housing crisis across Australia and our community,” ac.care Murraylands Homelessness Service manager Thanuja Hiripitiyage said.
“It is an opportunity to hear and understand voices in Murray Bridge and understand people at risk of or experiencing homelessness are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children and grandparents, people of all ages, genders and cultures, but we all have a responsibility as a community to look after one another.”
Ms Hiripitiyage said the exhibition aimed to challenge social stigma around homelessness and demonstrate people did not give up on striving for a better life, even though they often faced challenges.
“Homelessness is only an experience as part of their life journey and does not define a person’s worth and right to respect,” Ms Hiripitiyage said.
The event aligns with the 2022 National Homelessness Week theme of “to end homelessness we need a plan”.
“The plan can start from listening to our own community, accepting people and learning from their lived experiences,” Ms Hiripitiyage said.
“There are often many more challenges in people’s lives than what we see on the surface, but we are all human and nobody chooses to be homeless.”
Ms Hiripitiyage said she hoped the exhibition stimulated discussion through sharing of images, identified patterns in the experiences of people facing homelessness and empowered participants to learn new skills and develop self-expression.
“We know that coming together for this event and drawing attention to the issue can also help keep up the hopes of people experiencing homelessness to not give up on seeking a better future for all,” Ms Hiripitiyage said.
Free soup, giant games, drumming for school groups and other activities will feature on the day until 3pm.
Call ac.care on 08 8531 4900 for more information.