a picture outside St John's Church downtown Kitchener

CKMS News – ‘Falling through the cracks’ photo exhibit explores lived experiences of displacement

For one night only on Wednesday August 16

By MP Holmes

“These photos are very powerful. A lot of these photos are tied to some pretty intense experiences, especially if you were aware in April when there was a big wave of overdose deaths that were happening. These photos are taken in the midst of that crisis. It is reflecting the voices of people  who are navigating intense experiences of displacement.”


“Waterloo Region had shelter capacity for less than half of the number of homeless people that we had in 2020, and we know the number is bigger now and there is a huge shelter capacity gap and we also know that shelters are not going to meet the needs of everyone.”

David Alton, the Facilitator Lived Expertise Working Group, Kitchener’s Housing Strategy of the Social Development Centre, talked to CKMS news about a photography exhibition, the value of using lived expertise, the scale of homelessness in the Region and the problems and consequences of not having accurate data, and the barriers between unsheltered and sheltered communities.

The Lived Expertise Working Group is a two-year pilot project hosted by the Social Development Centre in partnership with the City of Kitchener to advise on the implementation and monitoring of the Housing for All Strategy. The working group consists of twelve lived experts who have met twice a month from May 2022 and were expected to continue until April 2024, but the group’s second year of funding, worth up to $30,000, is up in the air because City Council did not like the Social Development Centre commenting on city actions at the Roos Island protests in April. City council delayed the vote on continuing to fund the second year of the Lived Expertise Working Group until the council meeting on August 28.

Falling through the cracks, a fundraiser and photography exhibit, will be held at the downtown Kitchener Public Library, at 85 Queen St, for one night only on Wednesday August 16 from 5-8 pm. The photographs, 16 in total, depict the meaningful ways unsheltered communities support one another, memorialize each other, and resist marginalization. The gallery opens at 5 and the presentations will start around 6.


The music on today’s show is called “Maple Music” by Godmode courtesy of by Expectantly Maple Music on YouTube. 

You have been listening to CKMS News on 102.7FM, Radio Waterloo. This is MP Holmes, and thank you for tuning-in.

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