Family Promise of Greater Denver recently launched a new artistic initiative known as PhotoVoice, offering program guests at our shelter an opportunity to express their experiences through photographs. PhotoVoice is a way for participants and viewers alike to develop a critical consciousness about the conditions associated with poverty, joblessness, and homelessness.
We wanted to incorporate PhotoVoice into our practice because we understand that it can be used to spread awareness about diversity that exists across the social issue of homelessness. Homelessness takes many forms, and people from all walks of life may experience it at some point.. Photographs, for some, can be far more intimate and revealing than words and statistics alone. Our hope is that these photographs allow viewers to see the humanity of, and feel closer to, those whose lived experiences are depicted on the film. We feel that the act of taking these photos, combined with their viewing, will be beneficial in creating and spreading empathy for families experiencing homelessness in our community.
Here is a look into what has come from our endeavors thus far into PhotoVoice. All photographs were taken by Aylissa D. and Eric M., and all written words come directly from six anonymous family members who were surveyed about the photo project and their experiences with homelessness…
“Not having a place for my son to live is stressful. Going from having a home to none is hard.”
“(Homelessness has) taken away our freedom and our chance to be independent.”
“(We are) constantly stressed and worried.”
“It’s very overwhelming at times for me. I’m used to having my own place, and I’ve had to stay with family members and it’s very hard. I feel like it’s been hard to find a way to get an income, childcare, and housing again until now … I’m in a good program that’s giving me the push and motivation I need to do all the things I need to do.”
“Having to ask for help from relatives is embarrassing when they say they can’t help.”
“(Photographs can) show how we have continued to live our lives and try to look past our obstacles.”
“(Photographs can) show the struggle and successes of being homeless.”
“(Homelessness) has taught me not to take things for granted and that I can better myself.”
For questions or more information regarding the PhotoVoice project, email Mel at call at (303) 675-0713.