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Homeless Voices Exhibition and Reception
January 12 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Photography Exhibition, Opening Reception – Free Admission
Exhibit includes photography, testimonials, and video — The opeing reception will include a video presentation, words from the artist and some of the exhibit’s subjects, and from the Gilroy Compassion Center. The reality of the world we live in is that anyone of us could be just one day, one moment, one tragedy away from homelessness.
As we carry out our day to day lives we are oblivious to the struggles of those individuals we encounter. The grocery store cashier, the fast food clerk, the student in the library: anyone of them could be homeless. Anyone of us could be facing homelessness in the near future. The reality of the world we live in is that any one of us is just one day, one moment, one tragedy away from homelessness.
My vision is to create a community space in which we can tell the stories of our homeless friends – without judgement or preconception. I am currently focused on telling the stories of the homeless community in Gilroy and Morgan Hill in California. Despite many challenges, including being regularly “swept” out by city authorities, they survive and persevere with hope to stabilize their lives – gathering around the local churches, charities and the Compassion Center, a nonprofit which supports their daytime needs. Many of them work during the day, but are unable to access drinking water, regular showers or restrooms. By night, they have to sleep rough in cars, tents and sleeping bags by the creek or in the Walmart parking lot. It’s particularly dangerous for single women. By making the plight of the homeless population visible, I hope to raise awareness and help bring in more resources to improve the safety net available to our homeless friends and help them get back on their feet.
The first exhibition will be held from January 5 to 25 at Gilroy Center of the Arts. The exhibition is designed to put a name to the face of community members and understand their compelling stories, using still photography, individual storytelling and video interviews. The idea is to remove the preconceptions and false images of what we may assume a homeless person may be and that we are all people, human beings and need compassion. I aim to bring the same concept to other local cities struggling with the same issues such as Monterey, Hollister, Santa Cruz (I am currently volunteering at the Homeless Garden Center to photograph & interview), San Jose, Berkeley and hopefully Oakland and San Francisco.
This project is currently being crowdfunded at https://www.gofundme.com/help-kirti-give-homeless-a-voice — All support is greatly appreciated. To connect with me and follow the project, follow me at https://www.facebook.com/kirti.fataniabassendine
Exhibit runs from January 5 – 28
Although meetings of specific importance will be added individually to the calendar, these monthly meetings may be of interest on an ongoing basis:
Housing, Land Use, Environment, and Transportation (HLUET) Committee – Typically meets at 10am on the third Thursday each month. As a regular agenda item, the County Office of Supportive Housing presents its monthly system data report at these meetings. For details, select HLUET Committee in the drop-down menu in the left sidebar on the County of Santa Clara website.
Housing and Community Development Commission – Typically meets at 5:45pm on the second Thursday of each month. For details, see the Commission calendar on the City of San Jose website.