YEP, comprised of a statewide advocacy council of current and former homeless youth, engaged youth experiencing homeless across the state in the project. Thirty youth agreed to be photographed in order to give the public a better understanding of their day-to-day struggles. Project photographs depict such scenes as a participant standing on a busy street corner with a help wanted sign, a young person exiting a shelter, and a young woman standing on the side of the road with all of her belongings.
The idea for the project developed out of past YEP presentations and meetings with legislators that occasionally ended with a member of the audience asking, “Where are the youth experiencing these issues? Where do they sleep?” The project was developed by YEP members with the guidance of COHHIO staff. YEP members came up with the outreach strategy, proposed all edits for the project, made suggestions for where pictures should be taken, and which youth should be highlighted.
“It is not easy to be the face of homelessness,” said Brittany Koon, a 21 year old YEP member; “but it is necessary.”
The project has received favorably, leading to requests for the display at venues across the state. In addition to the inaugural display at Columbus City Hall, the project has also been presented at two public schools and is scheduled to be displayed at an event in Cleveland. Program members hope to expand their project to include photo-story booklets that would be distributed to schools across the state, and eventually take the project nationwide.
To view photos from Where Will We Sleep, visit or www.wherewillwesleep.orghttp://www.flickr.com/photos/waukatt1/sets/72157624713746314/
For more information contact Angela Lariviere, YEP Director, COHHIO, firstname.lastname@example.org.