Project Tag; an innovative approach to breaking down public misconceptions of youth homelessness
08 Aug 2018
SYC is always supporting innovative ways to highlight young people who experience homelessness.
In 2012 Project Tag saw a massive interactive mural – 16m x 8m x 6m – on North Terrace in Adelaide. The mural was unveiled on National Youth Homelessness Day.
The project concept was a winning entry of Reality Checkpoint, the 2011 Youth Homelessness Awareness Competition at UniSA. The competition invited student ideas to engage the community in dialogue about youth homelessness within a public space.
The innovative project brought together local artists, many young people, some who had lived experience of homelessness. They designed and created artworks to break down public stereotypes about homelessness and display around Adelaide’s CBD.
The impressive North Terrace mural was the focal point of the project. It showcased an interactive chalk board asking passers-by to finish the sentence: “I need a place that”…
SYC clients were part of the project and valued being able to share their personal homelessness journey in this innovative way. Participant, Sarah, said it was important show the community what homelessness really means.
“My case manager told me about the project happening and I thought it was a really good way of getting my perception of homelessness to the wider community. We’ve been discussing different perceptions of what home means to us and challenging the stigma of homelessness.”
The project was a huge success educating and engaging the community. Hundreds of people shared their ideas on the interactive black board.
CEO Paul Edington said he hoped the project would not just raise awareness around youth homelessness, but begin to change their reputation.
“The community has a picture that young people who are homeless are just runaways, young people who don’t want discipline, but that’s absolutely not the case.”
Sarah delivered a speech at the opening of the installation, on Youth Homelessness Day.
“Homelessness is not just a physical thing; it isn’t just about the lack of a house. Homelessness is about the feeling of displacement; it’s about not feeling safe and not having somewhere to go. It’s about survival becoming your sole focus in life.
“Project tag is about showing our community what homelessness means to us.”
Watch the project unfold: