Photo by David Tovey, chosen by public vote for February in 2016 My London calendar.

Homeless photos inspiring us all

Question: What do you get if you hand out 100 disposable cameras to homeless people and say: “Go and take some photographs.”

Answer: Some inspiring images and stories to go with them.

Cafe Art, based in London, came up with the idea as a way to empower people affected by homelessness, and it’s such an excellent idea. As this video shows, simply placing one of the most basic of cameras into someone’s hands can change their life.

From 100 cameras distributed, Cafe Art received 80 back in return, and developed 2500 photos, and some of them are terrific. All of them tell a story. You can read more about the project and exhibition here. The photos were put to a public vote in order to create a calendar for 2016 which, when sold, creates revenue that is put straight back into the project.

To donate to Cafe Art’s Kickstarter project, which has already reached its target but no doubt wouldn’t say no to more, you can go here.

I’d love to do something like this in Sydney. Earlier this year, it was reported that those sleeping rough in Australia’s most populous city is at a five-year high, with 27 per cent of them younger than 18. Since August 2014, the number of homeless in Sydney has risen by 23 per cent. It’s an unacceptable statistic, and to do something like Cafe Art has in London would hopefully help in some small way to give these people a little something to feel stronger.

Currently, nationwide, 105,237 people are homeless in Australia. Almost 27,000 of them are of Aboriginal or Torres Straight Islander descent. Contact your local council to see what you can do to help them.

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