Personal stories shared for Homelessness Week

THE human impact of homelessness has been highlighted in a multimedia exhibition that was opened in Hobart as part of Homelessness Week 2021.

The ‘I am Somebody’ exhibition explores individual experiences of homelessness through audio interviews and photographs involving members of the Hobart community.

Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said the project was developed by the City of Hobart as an initiative of the Housing with Dignity Reference Group to raise community awareness as part of Homelessness Week.

“The stories and images within the exhibition acknowledge the issues that people face when experiencing homelessness,” she said.

“The exhibition gives a voice to the very personal challenges people have faced, and ultimately the strength and hope that exists within our community.”

The ‘Hobart Helps’ guide is now available as a resource to assist community members in need.

Available both as a card-sized booklet and as a digital resource, the guide provides contact details for Hobart-based services that can provide accommodation, food and health and wellbeing assistance.

“It can be difficult to know where to go for help or what help is even out there,” Cr Reynolds said.

“We’ve brought together all of the resources that exist within our city and made them easily accessible for the people who need them.”

The guide is another initiative of the Housing With Dignity Reference Group and is identified as an action in the draft Affordable Housing and Homelessness Commitment, which is currently open for public feedback.

The Commitment explains the City’s role in addressing housing affordability and homelessness and identifies priorities and actions for the next two years.

With one of the City’s key roles being to facilitate connections and communication between agencies and the Hobart community, the City of Hobart also hosted two stakeholder forums that addressed issues around children and homelessness and palliative care and homelessness.

Cr Reynolds said the Homelessness Week theme of ‘Housing Ends Homelessness’ highlighted the need for more affordable housing as a core foundation to addressing the housing shortage.

“The City has worked closely with the community sector on projects that directly help people experiencing homelessness, such as assisting St Vincent de Paul with the provision of survival packs, and working with the Hobart City Mission to provide the Safe Night Space since early 2019 while they trialled the service and sought a permanent venue,” she said.

“But the most fundamental solution to homelessness is access to affordable housing.

“As a City, there is only so much we can do in this space, but we are committed to working with other levels of government towards real and sustainable solutions.”

To learn more about the ‘I am Somebody’ project and view the videos, visit hobartcity.com.au/iamsomebody.

To see the City of Hobart’s Affordable Housing and Homelessness Commitment and provide feedback, visit yoursay.hobartcity.com.au/housing-homelessness.

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The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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