Photographs taken by rough sleepers in Nottingham are being displayed at an exhibition to show their experiences of life on the streets.
Organised by social enterprise People of the Streets, the project involved giving homeless people disposable cameras to snapshot their lives in the city.
It was set up by Charles Kerr, Alex Greenhalgh and Qas Hussain, who are all third-year students at the University of Nottingham.
“There’s more than sleeping in an alleyway”
Charles Kerr, Stories of the Streets
Managing Director Charles says the idea was formed as an alternative way of helping homeless people, after seeing a council advertising campaign urging people not to give them money.
He said, “there’s more than sleeping in an alleyway. We really want to change perceptions of homelessness and provide a way people can help.”
“You feel like an animal”
Paul McKenzie, Photographer and Rough Sleeper
“From the start we wanted to work with the homeless community to develop something delivered through them,” he added.
AUDIO: Co-Founder Alex Greenhalgh talks about the impacts of the project.
One of the fourteen photographers is Paul McKenzie, who has slept rough on the city’s streets for the past four months.
Mr McKenzie says being homeless makes ‘you feel like an animal’, but the exhibition has humanised the photographers.
VIDEO: Photographer Paul McKenzie explains what his photo is about
“It makes us feel like we’re part of society even though we’re not really,” he added.
He hopes the exhibition will “show homeless people doing things people never noticed before, so they will see homelessness in a different way.”
Homelessness and rough sleeping figures in the UK are at an all-time high
- Being homeless includes rough sleeping, living in temporary accommodation and ‘sofa surfing’ between different friends and family
- One in every 200 people in the UK are homeless
- Over 4,000 people sleep rough every night
- The Homelessness Reduction Act aims to tackle homelessness, with £550million being invested until 2020
Statistics from Shelter
The exhibition has been set up as rough sleeping in Nottingham reaches a twenty year high, with over thirty people sleeping rough on the streets every night.
Framed prints are available to buy at the exhibition and online, with sales being divided between the photographers to provide accommodation and meals.
There are also plans to expand the scheme to other cities across the UK, including Manchester and Brighton.
Stories of the Streets is open every day at the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre.