Five people who have experienced homelessness or are experiencing homelessness were given a Polaroid camera and asked to document their lives. We asked them to shoot how they feel and share the reality of their life. Under the mentorship of Inzajeano Latif, a documentary photographer with years of experience in creating nuanced, empathetic portraits, the images create a collective photographic exploration of homelessness as it is experienced by those living it.
The link between mental distress and homelessness is a complex one. But what we do know is that 80% of homeless people have reported struggling with their mental health and suicide is the second most common cause of death for homeless people. We want this project to show that being homeless doesn’t need to mean feeling hopeless - as well as helping CALM reach more people who need our services and let them know that if they’re struggling, they’re not alone.
As our CEO, Simon says: “Too often those experiencing homelessness are ignored. They are made to feel like they are ‘other’ or people to be pitied. Their humanity is often taken away. By asking the participants to shoot how they feel and share the reality of their life with us, we wanted to turn this point of view around.”
With Homeless Truths we want to dispel some of the common misconceptions around homelessness, giving a platform to some of society’s most vulnerable, and often overlooked, individuals.
Here are the stories and pictures of the five participants: