Duo’s Exhibition Addresses Big Issue of Homelessness

Heartfelt writing by Desmond Hue a previously homeless Jobs, Friends and Houses apprentice, and images captured by Izzy Durose, a young photographer, have inspired a unique one-day exhibition at The Winter Gardens, Blackpool on Saturday 30 April which aims to raise awareness about homelessness.

Desmond shared his insights to his past life, which was blighted by addiction, criminality and homelessness, on his Facebook page as part of his recovery. Today he has spent more than 18-months abstinent from drugs. Desmond, is one of fourteen JFH team members. He is now employed full-time, living in a property that he helped to build and undertaking an adult apprenticeship.

Izzy learned of Desmond’s writing from her mother, Kristen Dunrose, an ardent JFH supporter and after reading his poetry, she decided to put her artistic skills to good use. Now, after taking to the streets of Blackpool to talk with people living on the streets or in shelters, about their experiences, capturing images and taking inspiration to write poetry the pair are set to host an exhibition, ‘Homeless Not Soulless’ showcasing their work to spread the word about homelessness, the causes of it and how people can help and challenge the stigmas surrounding it.

Desmond said “We want to highlight the issue of homelessness, show people that it is real and it can affect people from all backgrounds. We want to offer some insights into the lives of those people, they aren’t all just waiting for their next fix or a can of special brew; they weren’t born homeless, they became homeless due to difficult circumstances. I’ve learned that people really do care, they do want to help, but they don’t know how, so we want to give people that information.”

Izzy said “After reading Des’ written piece called Homeless not Soulless, I really wanted to do something that would influence change. I’ve always been a passionate advocate for trying to help those who are homeless and get other people to understand it, why it happens and not to write people off. With mum’s help I contacted Des to invite him to perform his work at my exhibition because I thought the combination of words and pictures would be a very powerful way to start conversation about homelessness. I’m grateful to everyone at JFH who have been very supportive of my idea right from the start.”

Desmond will be performing his spoken word poetry at regular intervals throughout the evening, while visitors will be able to view a gallery of Izzy’s photographs.

The exhibition takes place in the Derham Lounge in The Winter Gardens, Blackpool, on Saturday 30 April, from 7pm. It is free to attend and open to all – no booking necessary.

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