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  • Southside

New project highlights the human stories of homelessness

Wednesday, 17th April, 2019 1:00pm
New project highlights the human stories of homelessness

The Mayor of South Dublin County Council, Cllr Mark Ward.

New project highlights the human stories of homelessness

The Mayor of South Dublin County Council, Cllr Mark Ward.

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THE human stories of homelessness have been documented in a novel ‘photovoice’ project that was launched in South Dublin County Council Library in Tallaght last week.

The report ‘Many Voices, No Homes – Voices from the Front line of Homelessness’ includes detailed personal accounts, together with photographs, of the lived experiences of homelessness from children, adults, service providers and front-line staff.

The report was launched alongside a parallel photo exhibition event taking place at South Dublin County Council Libraries in Tallaght and Clondalkin.

 The report and photo exhibit highlight a clear wish from those affected and front-line staff for interactions and services to be more personalised with greater skills and capacity to engage each families’ unique set of needs and solutions.

 The report was commissioned by the South Dublin Children and Young Peoples Services Committee (CYPSC) and supported by the Tallaght based Childhood Development Initiative (CDI). It includes detailed accounts from 19 participants in South County Dublin.

 It was launched by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone.

 CYPSC member and CDI CEO, Marian Quinn, said an interesting and unexpected finding was the insights gathered from service providers and frontline staff.

“The extent to which their experiences and responses mirrors that of homeless families - in terms of frustration, hopelessness and feeling disempowered – is striking,” she said.

 The photovoice project was developed by sociologist and UCD Research Fellow and Dr Maria Quinlan together with photographer and visual artist Patrick Bolger (pictured below left).

Dr Quinlan said the aim of approach was to “allow the voices of the ‘experts’ in this field – those experiencing homelessness, and those working alongside them – to comprehensively have their say both verbally and visually.

 “While the focus of the project is to identify recommendations, in many cases we already know these but they are not being implemented,” she added.

“However, this project gives insight into how these can be implemented in a way that addresses the lived day to day challenges.”

 The photo exhibition has been on display in Tallaght library for the past two weeks and will be on display in Clondalkin library for the coming two weeks. The launch was also attended by the Mayor of South Dublin County Council, Cllr Mark Ward who welcomed and commended the work.

 Speaking at the event Mayor Ward said: “The issues raised in this exhibition relate to families across the city and country – they are not unique to South Dublin.

“The exhibition clearly outlines the lived experience of families who find themselves homeless, and the impact on their mental health, relationships, and children’s development.”

“The stories in this report are hard to read; and so, they should be,” Cllr Ward added. “They offer a powerful glimpse into the heartache, drudgery and stress that comes with being homeless.

It also illustrates the enormous efforts parents go to in an effort to ensure that their children continue to attend school, have space and time to play, and are protected from the worst effects of homelessness.”

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here