Pictures by homeless featured at Regina library exhibit

Homeless photos, by people who are or have been homeless, are the focus of an exhibit at the Regina Central Library.

Organized by Common Weal Community Arts Inc.

A spot under the Albert Street bridge in Regina sometimes used as a place to sleep for the homeless. (Submitted to CBC)

There's an exhibition on at Regina's Central Library that provides some insight into a world many people never see.

It's a collection of photographs reflecting homelessness taken by the people who have lived that life.

It was organized by Gerry Ruecker, the southern artistic director for Common Weal Community Arts.

The group worked with Carmichael Outreach to find 10 participants, all of whom were homeless or who had recently been homeless.

They were given disposable cameras and asked to take pictures of anything they thought reflected their lives.

Seven brought the cameras back and shared the meaning of the photos they took.

From the photographer, Laura: "Those are my three girls, my daughter and two grand daughters outside of their house. I’ve also got a grandson, I call him the Squirmy Wormy. All my kids live together in the same house with my grand kids and I stay there now too. Now that I’m homeless again I’m staying there again. When I got kicked out they helped me move my stuff to their place. They took me to the hospital when I needed it because they care about me. My kids help me out lots and I appreciate it lots. I sleep in the bed with my granddaughter, she always likes it when I’m there. She likes to sleep so close and I get kicked off the bed or get a shot in the face, haha. I help clean up their place. When I’m at their place they tell me 'Sit down and relax!' I can’t sit still! I help with the kids. Feed the kids. I know it’s hard on my daughter, looking after the kids." (Laura/Common Weal Community Arts Inc./Submitted to CBC)
From the photographer, Corey: "That’s my friend there and we’re struggling for smokes, that’s how bad it is, how poor we are. Picking butts. Yeah we were downtown. We were just having fun, goofing off too. We just had fun taking photos too. We don’t mind saying we’re picking butts, it’s the truth. It’s how we live. It’s not a big deal." (Corey/Common Weal Community Arts Inc./Submitted to CBC)
From the photographer, Joanne: "I used to sleep under the Albert St. bridge during the summer and winter months. At times when it was cold I had to light a fire, and I would cook small meals for myself. Sometimes a male and a female police officer came to see if I was alright under the bridge, and would bring me a bag lunch and a cup of coffee. The place I used to stay is filled in with concrete." (Joanne/Common Weal Community Arts Inc./Submitted to CBC)
From the photographer, Corey: "This is the house here. I don’t think it’s very good. More dirty than it should be. You know, we’re trying to live to a higher standard but it seems he (the landlord) doesn’t want us to live that way. There used to be a phone, washer, dryer, but not any more. He doesn’t think of hooking them up here either. Cheap. Even now, I’m here doing the cleaning. I’m just cleaning basics but I could do a lot more, but I’m just a tenant, it’s not my job. I’m just doing the basic clean up." (Corey/Common Weal Community Arts Inc./Submitted to CBC)
From the photographer, Sheldon: "I know what I’m gonna say about my bike. Someone took my bike off me just like that. Close to Carmichael. I was sitting here having a smoke and he just took it and didn’t say where he was gonna go. Now I have no bike. Now I have to walk, walk, walk. I stored my bike in my little place, in my apartment. Then after that, voom. No bike now. My bike could get me going everywhere I wanted to go. Yeah, tell them, I don’t know, tell them if they are looking for my bike, this one, if they do find it, go down to the police station and write something down. My bike got stolen, just like that." (Sheldon/Common Weal Community Art Inc./Submitted to CBC)
From the photographer, Rocky: "This is a photo of where I used to sleep in the bushes. I had about four blankets. I used to drink by the sculpture. These pictures bring up bad memories of how I used to live, how everybody used to live. 127 days without drinking and I feel a heck of a lot better." (Rocky/Common Weal Community Art Inc./Submitted to CBC)

The exhibit, which opened Dec. 5, was originally slated to run until Jan. 20 but has been extended until Jan. 27. The exhibit is at the Dunlop Art Gallery in the library.

With files from CBC Radio's Afternoon Edition