SIATS x UnitingCare West
As a project that seeks to recognize the humanity in each of us, so I asked them to smile was honored to support and collaborate with UnitingCare West’s ongoing effort to find holistic solutions to the complex challenges affecting people on the edges of our society.
Almost 9,000 people experience homelessness in Western Australia on any given night. Tranby Centre in Perth’s inner city, supports over 200 of these vulnerable people every day their doors are open. With the Transform Tranby Campaign, their goal is to increase both the scale of that service and also its quality. Their goal is to give a hand up rather than a hand out. It is easy to forget the knock-on effect of not having a home address in highly bureaucratic systems. https://bit.ly/2JE8njM to know more.
Over a two-day period, I photographed some of the people who make use of the facilities at Tranby. I met people young and old, male and female, and from a variety of ethnicities. Some were recognizably living roughly, but many I would have walked past in the street and never even know were struggling.
Looking back at the experience, the first thing that struck me was the number of people who did not want to be photographed. In my experience of this project, that is unusual. I sensed the stigma that being seen to ask for help, homelessness itself and being in a support center, has for some in our society.
Overall the vast majority of people I met, regardless of their challenge, were friendly and happy to talk to me with an honesty I found deeply refreshing.
I would like to thank UnitingCare West for this opportunity.