Photographs are used within the home to tell the story of our growing up, events within our life and the people that are familiar to us. They can also offer a unique insight into the life of a person and the story they want to tell.
This exhibition is the story of three men whose home was the streets, alleys and doorways of Belfast city. We observe homelessness from the outside, but the Hidden Quarters exhibition offers us a unique perspective. These are intimate portraits of the places inside the city that they called home.
The Cork and Belfast Life Centres have collaborated to bring this exhibition to Cork. On Tuesday the 3rd of May at 12pm, the Lord Mayor of Cork city will open this exhibition in Camden Palace. The public are invited to attend this opening and meet the Artists involved in this positive and affecting event.
Exhibition runs until May 10th
Here are the biogs of some of the photographers involved;
My name is Daniel and this is part of my journey of having been homeless.
My journey began in 2008 when I returned home from abroad after 20 years to find overwhelming differences in the place where I was born. These differences included lack of work, accommodation and changes in benefits.
One of the hardest things of being homeless was the attitudes of other people towards me and the reactions of those of whom I asked for help. Most people have the wrong idea of what it means to be homeless, simply put it means without a home – nothing else.
The process of getting back into society isn’t an easy one and without the help of people who know the “ins and outs” of the current system would prove to be a much longer and difficult task. I was blessed and landed in the Morning Star house whose whole staff helped me feel like a human being once again. It was through this facility that my faith was strengthened, my courage was renewed and friendships began.
Doing this project helps to remind me and keep me humble of those that still need help and of the places that do help homeless people need support. It is my hope that upon viewing this exhibition you can begin to immerse yourself somehow in the need to help others. Thank you.
Hi my name is Kevin and right now I feel so lucky.
I became homeless a long time ago after having a serious row with my then wife and with the help of too much drink.
In those days money was tight but I had to get money for drink and gambling and if it wasn’t there I became a different person to what I appeared in public – I made my wife and kids suffer.
Because of my path through life from then the many downs I’ve had (which I always blamed on someone else) and not caring about my kids, I became the pits – I was down.
Eventually I got into a hostel where thankfully I was able to find myself again. I had help from the Morning Star House who put me in touch with the Housing Executive where I was registered homeless.
They told me I didn’t have enough points to be housed so I had to go into a hostel, which I never wanted, because I had the wrong impression of them.
Now I am glad I did because it seemed to be a new beginning for me. I was lucky to get into the Morning Star at Divis Street. I started to use their Oratory and got into prayer. It was a turning point for me. I feel so lucky now because I am not homeless any longer.
I have my own place now and my girls who I hadn’t seen for years now come to visit me and I thank god for guiding me to this point in my life.
My wish now is for all homeless people to have some of my good fortune and find a positive way in their life and for them to get help with their problems. I PRAY FOR THEM EVERY DAY.
Hi my name is Patrick and this is my story.
I became homeless as a result of family breakdown.
My first step was to go to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to present myself as Homeless and I was able to get myself a room in the Morning Star House. This experience left me feeling low. Even though there was a lot of people and support around me, I was still feeling really lonely and depressed. With the help of many people and organisations I am in a better place today.
My experiences as a homeless man opened my eyes as to how people treat those who are homeless. For example, when I went for an interview I feel I was discriminated against because I had an address of a hostel rather than a home. However there were others who helped me get into a really good catering course and work-based course which has given me the ability to approach life a lot more positively.
The Morning Star had helped me get into a programme called ‘Drive Ahead’ where I was able to complete a variety of different qualifications such as my forklift licence and First Aid at Work certificate. I also began driving lessons with them and having first achieved my theory test, I proceeded to pass my practical test at the first attempt and now have my full driving licence. As a result of all this help I was able to get my own place and because of this I have been able to become my own free man again.
I decided to take on the challenge of this exhibition to try to show people my experience of being homeless. I hope to raise awareness of what it’s like for other people who are in the position that I was.
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