RIVERLAND residents affected by homelessness have shared their personal experiences through photos and words as part of an exhibition being launched by ac.care next week.
Places of refuge, the impact of a warm shower and the stability a home provides are all portrayed in the exhibition, which will go on public display for National Homelessness Week (August 7-13).
ac.care Riverland Homelessness Service manager Michelle Storry praised the people involved in the exhibition, encouraging the community to visit the Renmark Square shopping complex next week to view their stories.
“We are privileged to be able to share these personal reflections on homelessness and how it has affected people in our community,” Michelle said.
“Homelessness and hardship affect everyone differently, but throughout this exhibition you can see clear themes that we can all relate to – the desire for a warm, safe home that can provide stability and comfort.”
The exhibition builds on a similar initiative launched by ac.care Murraylands in 2022, with ac.care inviting people who have experienced homelessness to express themselves by sharing photographs, and written reflections, offering unique insight into their lives.
“It is not always easy to give people a window into your personal life, particularly with some of the challenges these residents have faced or continue to work through,” Michelle said.
“These people are providing a very public face to a group of people that can at times feel isolated, unseen or unheard.
“Their perspectives are raw, real and show the differing impacts of living in poverty.”
ac.care chief executive officer Shane Maddocks said the exhibition was a valuable opportunity to raise awareness during National Homelessness Week and gain insight into personal experiences.
“The bravery of people who have shared their stories is incredible after we have come to know these individuals through our services,” he said.
“With a lack of affordable housing, the cost of living crisis and lasting impacts of flooding in the region, our vulnerable Riverland residents are facing some significant challenges.
“There is a lot of work to be done in country communities to address homelessness and that often starts with agencies like ac.care working to keep people in their homes to avoid homelessness.
“However, National Homelessness Week is a timely reminder that we need to come together as a nation to lift people out of poverty while finding local solutions developed with the community to support people in times of need.”
The exhibition can be viewed next week during the Renmark Square shopping complex business hours and will be on display at ac.care Riverland – located at 5 Kealley Street, Berri – on Friday.