Oxford

Oxford homeless art exhibition showcases life in city

A man wearing shorts, sunglasses and a towel around his shoulders lies on a blanket on the floor in front of a street sign Image copyright Homeless Oxfordshire
Image caption 'Behind the Spires' shows life on the streets for Oxford's homeless community

Photographs taken by homeless people in Oxford are being exhibited to dispel myths surrounding homelessness.

Residents of Homeless Oxfordshire's 56-bed O'Hanlon House hostel and community housing projects were given disposable cameras to capture what life looks like as a homeless person in the county.

More than 280 photographs were taken by 10 homeless people over two months.

One of the artists, who wishes to remain anonymous, said his photos show "sad but real life issues" in Oxford.

Image copyright Homeless Oxfordshire
Image caption The photography project encouraged homeless people to engage with staff at Homeless Oxfordshire, it said

"From my own experience of being on the streets, you feel that you are not living but only existing," he added.

"Behind Oxford's historical town and day-to-day life is a dark, depressing problem of men and women who live on the streets."

'Homelessness shatters confidence'

Residents of the hostel went out with support workers to take pictures.

Those living in Homeless Oxfordshire's community housing projects kept the disposable cameras for up to a week.

Image copyright Homeless Oxfordshire
Image caption "This is a daily situation and feeling for all those living on the streets"

A spokeswoman for Homeless Oxfordshire said: "Stereotypes and stigma surrounding homelessness dehumanise people who are living a personal crisis every day.

"Homelessness shatters confidence. Below the Spires has been an opportunity for our clients to express themselves creatively and, for some, a chance to build their confidence out in the city again."

The exhibition runs until 24 February at The Jam Factory.

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