These powerful films and images will change the way you think about homeless people

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Josh

I became homeless through, sort of not being able to live with my Mam really. I’m really close to her but we can’t live together.

– Josh

“You’re no different, just because you don’t have a roof over your head.” So says Ross, a young homeless man from York.

And that’s the message driven powerfully home by a series of films and photographs featuring the residents of Arc Light, the centre for homeless people in York.

The campaign is called We’re Human Too. It includes three thought-provoking short films and a series of positive portraits presenting people experiencing homelessness in a new light.

Produced by Inspired Youth in partnership with York Arc Light and Scott Akoz Photography, the campaign was launched at York St John University on Wednesday (March 2).

Kev Curran, director of Inspired Youth, said: “The reality is that anyone can become homeless, especially in the context of austerity and cuts. People from all walks of life can face homelessness, we wanted to capture the humans behind the label, to grow understanding and raise awareness.”
Katherine Blaker, from Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “It’s likely we all know someone who has been through this, and that’s why it’s great this project is bringing those stories to life and raising awareness of the issue here in York.”

Ian

I’m a giver not a taker… I’ve ended up in this situation through, just bad times really.

– Ian

Jeremy Jones, chief executive of Arc Light, said: “Homelessness is one of the most vulnerable situations a person can be in and can affect every aspect of someone’s life. It’s important that we create opportunities for people to regain confidence and to make their voices heard.”
Doug, who is 46 and took part in the project, said: “I found the experience extremely enjoyable and in some senses eye opening. It also gave me a sense of belonging in that people are willing to highlight the root causes of homelessness and the people behind them and not just the often misinformed stereotypes of who homeless people are.”

Doug

What makes me the most happy? Spending time with my kids. It’s not something I have to think about, definitely spending time with my kids.

– Doug

Lauren

I describe myself as a friendly person. I like caring about people. It means a lot to me to help people.

– Lauren

Matthew

Love means to me putting trust in somebody and somebody putting their trust in you. No secrets, no lies. It’s a gel for it to be a partnership.

– Mathew

Jacko

Working with disabled kids, I did a lot of that. I enjoyed doing it. I loved it, and I loved helping people.

– Jacko

Ross

When I was younger, I had trials for a team. Quite a big team. And I didn’t get very far because I turned to drugs. Ruined life a bit.

– Ross

Dennis

What makes me sad is mainly seeing people who shouldn’t be in the position they’re in. And it’s a hard life for them, when it shouldn’t ought to be.

– Dennis

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