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Letters share human connection

04 May 2017

Letters share human connection Image

Library at The Dock last month held a unique exhibition of letters written by Melbourne’s homeless people.

Heartfelt letters written by homeless people from Melbourne and some other countries were exhibited at the library as part of Dear Howard ­– An Exhibition of Infinite Connection, which ran from April 6 to 28.

Inspired by the film Collateral Beauty, the program was presented by Youth Projects, a Melbourne-based, not-for-profit organisation that provides health, employment and education services to young people experiencing unemployment, homelessness and substance issues.

The themes of the anonymous letters revolved around love, time and death and conveyed mixed feelings through expressions of emotions, clarity and closure.

Youth Projects’ chair Melanie Raymond said the exhibition could express deep human emotions shared by all people.

“Every person feels the effect of love, death and time, regardless of whether they hold keys to a house,” she said.

“In exhibiting these anonymous letters, we aim to show the likenesses in peoples’ personal thoughts and connect our community through the feelings we all experience.”

“Rather than focusing on the poverty of homeless people, we are focusing on what we all share and the human connection.”

The exhibition is the first of its kind and Ms Raymond said she hoped the stereotypes surrounding people sleeping rough on the streets could be broken down.

“Homelessness can often be used as a weapon against those who are experiencing it. But the exhibition shows what everyone has in common and it’s very therapeutic for people to be able to share their experiences and express their feelings,” she said.

Some of the letters were publicly read by community members at the exhibition launch night and visible emotions were seen across the room.

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