Homeless Connect 2010
Venture Photography ran the inaugural Photo Booth at the Homeless Connect in 2009. So rewarding and enriching was that experience that I put my hand up again this year for Homeless Connect 2010. This year, ably abetted by Kaylene Taylor of Taylor Made Moments, we had the Photo Booth up and running again, this time at the Ruah Centre in Northbridge.
We should all have photograph of ourselves, our family, our friends. Photography lets us memorialise who we are, the people important to us, the relationships and connections that sustain us.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to have their photos taken and prints made of them. Portrait sittings and prints are not always cheap — and those with fixed or limited income often miss out simply because there isn’t enough dollars available. Our photo booth at this year’s Homeless Connect event sought to redress this.
If you haven’t heard of Homeless Connect, it is an all-day event that brings together Perth City Council, state government, federal government, businesses and community groups to provide free services to homeless people for a day. This year, Homeless Connect played host to more than 600 homeless persons who visited us at the Hellenic Centre, Russell Square and the Ruah Centre to avail themselves of services ranging from welfare, employment, counselling, training, law and health.
Alongside the services on offer and the activities for the partaking, our little photo booth proved very popular with our homeless guests.
We photographed more than 200 people this year. There were so many different faces, so many different stories with one common thread: these are people who currently do not have secure accommodation. Whether they sleep rough (in the streets), or couch surf, or make use of crisis accomodation, these individuals do not have the security that we take for granted: a home to go to at night and the knowledge that tomorrow, next week, next month or even next year, we still have this place we call home. And for many of them, having their photo taken at the booth was the first time they have ever had a portrait of themselves or their family done, let alone being able to keep prints of these portraits — and the effect of their seeing these portraits for the first time was very heartfelt!
My thanks to Kaylene for her indispensible assistance on the day. This lady can certainly photograph kids — and there were a lot more families with young kids fronting up to have their portraits taken this year! Thanks also to our indefatigable volunteer, Bernie, who manned the printer all day, making sure that most, if not all guests, came away with at least a print.
Here’s looking forward to Homeless Connect 2011!