Homes for All art project reveals faces, challenges stereotypes

By Josh Low

Portraying the dignity of the human person and shining a light on those affected by homelessness was the focus of Centacare Evolve Housing’s ‘Homes for All’ Intergenerational Art Project to mark Homelessness Week (7-13 August).

Erected in Claremont along the Brooker Highway, the art installation was launched on Friday 4 August, and is made up of a series of portrait photographs captured by local artist David Graham.

Blessed by Archdiocese of Hobart Vicar-General, Fr Shammi Perera VG, the project seeks to give a face to residents in social and affordable housing who have previously faced homelessness.

“We must always ask why we do what we do,” Fr Shammi said.

The art installation was erected along Brooker Highway in Claremont and is comprised of a series of portrait images of those who have faced homelessness at some point in their lives. Photo: Josh Low

“And the answer is, we love and serve those who are experiencing homelessness and work to provide proper housing (for them).

“Everyone is created in the image of God. As we serve the people who live on the margins, we identify the presence of Christ in each person.

“That is why we serve the community, and that is the force that propels us,” he said.

“We pray that the Lord will bless the efforts of Catholic organisations, staff members and volunteers and all who work on building sites and contractors who generously extend a helping hand to those in dire need.

“May Homelessness Week be a time of awareness and understanding, where society comes together to address the causes of homelessness and strive for a world where everyone has a place of belonging,” he concluded.

(L-R): Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Julie Collins MP, with Centacare Evolve Housing CEO, Ben Wilson, and artist David Graham. Photo: Josh Low

Centacare Evolve Housing CEO, Ben Wilson, said the project was a good opportunity for the community to reflect on the challenges in the housing and homelessness space in Tasmania.

He added that the hope was to put faces to statistics and challenge the stereotypes of people living in social and affordable housing which he said can be untrue, unjust, and inhumane.

“If you look at the combined work across the Catholic Church in Tasmania, we are doing whatever we can to address the housing crisis.

“We hope [the Homes for All project] sparks an opportunity for people to realise that this is real, this is in their community, this is everywhere,” he said.

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