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"Homelessness - we all own it"


Background to "Homelessness - we all own it"

The exhibition is a collection of 10 original art works by Caroline Ambrus. Each image depicts the crises of homelessness and how this impacts different people. Caroline has kindly donated the entire collection to the Uniting Church EMC as an opportunity to raise much-needed funds to help Canberra's homeless. The collection is valued at $5,000 or $500 each. The entire collection, signed and dated is available for purchase or each pastel drawing can be sold individually. Signed and dated, limited edition prints are also available at $80 each or $500 for the complete set. Following the exhibition, the Uniting Church EMC will own the collections.

Homelessness does not discriminate?

Being homeless can affect people from all walks of life at any time, age, ethnicity, able or disabled and gender. It could be very close and personal to you. It may affect loved ones and special people in your life - family, friends or colleagues. However, once entrapped, it is difficult to get out of spiraling poverty, distress, uncertainty, ill health, loss of hope, social and family disconnection.

Where does the homeless sleep?

The numbers of people accessing homelessness services is steadily increasing. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data releases show that the number of people getting help, and being turned away, has increased over the past three years.

There are a number of places that people who are homeless stay. These include:

• living in 'severely' crowded dwellings (39%);
• supported accommodation (20%);
• staying temporarily with other households or boarding houses (34%); and
• living in improvised dwellings, tents or sleeping out (7%).

In the ACT, the 2016 Census reported there were 1,596 people homeless compared to 1,738 in 2011. A slight decrease of 142 people. Since July 2019, the number of homeless men using Safe Shelter ACT for a place to sleep has more than doubled with 412 people using the facilities in the past nine weeks compared to 204 men who used them over the same period in 2018.

What are the art exhibition outcomes?

Caroline and our supporting partners is confidant that with your attendance the profile of the homeless would be raised. Your presence would also highlight homelessness as a community responsibility. A 'whole-of-community' ownership of homelessness would:

• acknowledge that being homeless is a community tragedy;
• help in educating people about homelessness;
• offer support to local good work happening in our local community;
• encourage donation to local service providers; and
• thank our volunteers on the 'front line'.

The launch of the art exhibition is an opportunity to network across sectors, and listen to untold stories of need and optimism. Importantly, it is an occasion to seek practical solutions in a positive environment.

Who are our guests?

All ACT federal and MLA parliamentary members, relevant government agencies, esteemed community leaders, local sector service providers, the general public, foundations, journalists, local sporting, business and financial institutions from the respective sectors and all media outlets have been invited to be at the one place at the one time.

Reference material and source information