OXFORD’S Homeless community have been putting on a show at The Jam Factory, which is exhibiting their photography.

The ‘Below the Spires’ exhibition – which runs until Monday, February 25 in the Boiler Room Gallery – shows what life looks like for the city’s homeless through the lens of a disposable camera.

Oxford Mail:

Homeless Oxfordshire, which runs 56-bed hostel O’Hanlon House, have organised the initiative, which aims to dispels myths around homelessness and gives an insight into life on the city’s street.


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Jo Faulkner-Harvey, Head of Fundraising and Communications for the organisation, said: “The exhibition was an opportunity to engage clients in an external activity. As a frontline service we feel that it is really important to show our clients to be people just like you and I; people with feeling, opinions and amazing sense of humour considering the challenges they face day to day.


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“There are a range of photos but if you look carefully there are reoccurring themes. Our client’s voices are a powerful reminder of how homelessness can happen and how it can feel.

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“We hope this exhibition will encourage people to look past the stereotypes and see our clients as the creative individuals they are.”

She added that the company hoped to take the exhibition to other venues throughout the county ‘to give people the opportunity to see the collection and to understand how it feels to be homeless and the impact it has on people’s lives as we help them to recover.’

Park End Street arts centre The Jam Factory, which is also serves food and drink, say the event aims to combat the marginalisation, stigmatisation and stereotypes attached to homelessness.

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In a statement, the venue added: “Homelessness de-skills and isolates, yet the creativity, innovation and resilience people use every day to survive on the streets is astounding.

The organisation, which calls itself a haven for Oxford’s art enthusiasts and food lovers, ‘prides itself on providing a creative hub for Oxford residents, students and visitors’.

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It continued: “The opportunity to exhibit personal artwork can help to build a person’s confidence and self-esteem, and, above all else, show them that their outlook on the community is acknowledged and cared about.”