A photographic account of what it means to be homeless has been created to raise awareness on World Homeless Day on Wednesday, October 10.
Catching Lives Photo Stories is a glossy booklet featuring powerful images of homelessness in Canterbury, along with quotes from the people in the photographs.
The project is a partnership between Bookbinders, a literacy scheme for the vulnerable, and homelessness charity Catching Lives, and funded by an innovation grant from Canterbury City Council.
Michael James, co-ordinator of Bookbinders, said: “You can’t tell who is homeless just by looking at them. It is something that can happen to anyone from any walk of life.
“That’s why we hope to get people to engage in the subject and break down stereotypical views of those who are or who have been homeless.
“We have created two versions of the booklet – one will contain the photographs and the quotes while the second version will be photos only. Catching Lives do outreach work in schools and will use the photo-only version to lead discussions about homelessness.
“An electronic copy of each will be available for free download from the Bookbinders website.”
The Photo Stories project identified people using the services of Catching Lives who then agreed to be photographed in their day-to-day life on the streets of Canterbury.
Copies of the booklet will also be distributed to Bookbinders groups.
Bookbinders provides materials and guidelines on how to set up a book group to encourage reading and sharing thoughts and experiences in a supportive environment. The scheme is for organisations working with educationally disadvantaged adults – such as the homeless or young people not in education or training (NEETs).
The scheme is supported by People’s Postcode Lottery and Salway Grassroots Fund.