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Lived Expertise Working Group

"Falling Through the Cracks" Exhibit

Voices of Displacement in Waterloo Region

"Falling Through the Cracks" is a photo voice exhibit showcasing the perspectives of community members with lived experiences of homelessness in Waterloo Region. It's part of are search collaboration between the Lived Expertise Working Group (LEWG) and a 2022/23 undergraduate research course from Wilfrid Laurier University and supported by Viessmann Centre for Engagement and Research in Sustainability (VERiS). LEWG itself is a pilot project with the City of Kitchener to model how Lived Expertise engagement can evolve and look like in the future. This exhibit is one of three main projects the LEWG is working on as part of their 2-yearpartnership with the City to address the impacts of the housing crisis. If you want to support the work of this group, see here for more information.

About the Exhibit

With the rise in gentrification, affordable housing options are lost and people continue to be displaced. Even in the midst of our current housing crisis, the experiences and stories of those who are unsheltered largely remain invisible to the broader public. Read the article, "Kitchener photography exhibit shines light on homelessness" (The Record).

Exhibit Purpose

We hope to spark discussion and advocate for equitable access to housing and resources which better support unhoused people in Waterloo Region. We also want to raise awareness by showing the different perspectives on housing insecurity, as well as uplift the voices of those most impacted. The goal is to engage in conversations with change-makers and the general public.

Making the Exhibit

We asked people with lived experiences of displacement and housing insecurity to take photos around Waterloo Region to help answer the following questions:

  1. What do people need right now to complete their journeys?
  2. What are displacement's impacts?
  3. Where are opportunities to make changes in the city?

Afterward, as a group, we selected photos and discussed their meanings. From that, we identified themes and patterns, discussed on the other page. 

Exhibit Photos by Theme

Housing insecurity affects many and actively reduces the quality of life for everyone. We need equitable housing policies and resources, community support efforts, and to keep the conversation going.

A Partnership

This exhibit is in partnership with the Lived Experience Working Group, the Social Development Centre, and Laurier, supported by The Centre for Housing Transformation and the City of Kitchener.
VERiS also supported the exhibition and coordination.

lived expertise working group logo Social development Centre logo wilfrid Laurier university logo

community housing transformation centre logo city of kitchener logoveris logo

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