18 July 2011
Women's experiences of homelessness are the focus for a new project by international photographer Georgina Cranston, working with residents and staff of homelessness charity St Mungo's.
‘Where from? Where now?' is a six month multimedia project that will see Georgina exploring women's stories and experiences through photography, a blog and recordings.
One in four of St Mungo's1,700 residents are women, either living in mixed supported housing or in women-only projects. The charity has recently appointed a women's strategy coordinator to further develop the support it can offer to women clients.
Georgina said: "I'm fascinated by what I've learnt so far about the reasons why women become homeless and the very complex problems they're often tackling. I wanted to explore this over time to try and gain a deeper understanding of the issues, building up relationships and seeing how women are rebuilding their lives. This is a very important project for me and I'm very much looking forward to working with St Mungo's and their residents."
Esther Sample, St Mungo's women's strategy coordinator, said: "St Mungo's looks after single homeless women and men but within the last few years has begun to develop a women's strategy to focus how our services can be developed to meet some particular needs of our women clients. We find women often become homeless because of a series of traumatic events, perhaps linked to childhood experiences, and that as a result it can take longer for them to rebuild confidence, self-esteem and their sense of value and place in society. Often too there may be issues around loss of children, bereavement and ongoing problems with families.
"Georgina is a fantastic photographer. We welcome the opportunity to work with her and throw a spotlight on issues so our services, other agencies and policymakers can better support women to recover from homelessness."
TheKnowList, which has worked with Georgina previously, will be working to raise awareness of St Mungo's women's strategy within the national legal community, while also providing web resources for the project and for Georgina's regular blog.
Daniel Brown, CEO of TheKnowList, said: "We are thrilled to be working with Georgina again. Her commitment to highlighting the plight of disadvantaged women in the UK and around the world is truly inspirational."
A final exhibition in 2012 of Georgina's work will be supported by Elite, a Thomson Reuters business, which is supporting St Mungo's women's strategy to raise awareness and improve services for homeless women.
Patrick Hurley, of Elite, said: "Georgina's work is of international repute and has documented the troubled lives of many women across the globe. We're very proud to support this women's strategy work by St Mungo's."