post 10: design proposition


After explaining my design proposal a number of questions were raised on whether my idea was ethically suitable for what I was trying to achieve. My concept revolved around diminishing the idea of judgements, assumptions and stereotypes through the use of choosing an option that would inform the user whether or not the story was relating to a homeless person. Thus creating a realisation for the user that their initial thoughts are not what they seem. In doing this, the design of the proposal puts the user on the spot and judges them as well, not keeping in mind the homeless person being judged also. As this was not my aim, I took a different turn with my interaction.

One thing that was not made clear through my proposal was the interaction process to reach to a result. I was advised to take a further look into the interaction process of how the design would work and how it can be further designed to be a generative design.
After listening to my groups proposals I felt that my idea was lacking what I was originally trying to achieve. Even though are ideas may be different in regards to context the outcome of what we are all trying to achieve are similar.

To further push my concepts, my group suggested to continue to research into homelessness on digital platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, online articles/stories) that can inspire me to push through my idea.

draft design proposal

I initially started researching how to prevent homelessness amongst. Gradually, my research led me to notice a strong trail of misconceptions and the harsh realities of homelessness. At this point it was a scary realisation that the world views homeless in such negative and hopeless way. My research took a turn in paths after we did the data scrapping. Through this research it further conveyed the misconceptions and little knowledge that the public had on homeless people. Finally I took an interest into how society relies of face value to determine if someone is homeless or not rather than having an open mind and look deeper into their situation.

project title.
Its not what it seems

practice type.
Generative Design

the issue.
In today’s society the youth of the public have become desensitised to social issues while keeping themselves at first thought. This has resulted in members of society to have misconceptions about homelessness and take it for face value. Factors such as appearances, assumptions, media, film, and first impressions play a major part into how society perceives the homeless community. The first thing that enters a persons mind upon passing a homeless person is the stereotypical thoughts that this person may have a drug and alcohol addiction or they haven’t showered or groomed themselves in a long time. But what people don’t know is that these people are humans just like everyone in the world. Some of which are educated, have a job but are not in the best situation at the moment. Complex issue

possible change.
 To break the stereotypes and multilayered assumptions the youth have on the homeless community by keeping an open mind and view complexities of a situation that it is not what it seems.

the design action to support the change.
 An interactive board will be erected in well populated areas where the youth are likely to thrive (university campuses, shopping centres). From this the board will consist of an image library of real homeless people who may look successful and financially stable but are struggling with their lives. The user will be unaware of their situation until they take a closer look into their lives. It will continue showing a slideshow of images until the user has picked a photo to view. Here the user will take a closer look into the life of the current persona chosen in the image. For example, two friends are shown in a coffee shop, one of which is homeless. In order to get around her daily life she is couch surfing at her friend’s house with a history of domestic violence. In addition, she’s a migrant and is not eligible for any housing. From this users are able to see that homelessness is not what they think is it. Appearance plays an important role with how people view and judge homeless people.

further feedback

Upon refining my draft proposal and receiving feedback from my group, there were some points to take a closer look at. These are as follows:

  • My tutor Simone, pointed out that the user is very passive by only clicking things and suggested that things need to be interactive in order for this design to work
  • I needed to create an active presence and discover other ways to reveal the stories in a positive and engaging way
  • They also suggested trying to imagine engaging with the design and how it can be shifted in a space
  • They also pointed out that maybe an interactive board was not the best option to achieve my design proposition

From this I was able to veer into a different path to create a physical interaction rather than using an interactive board.

design proposal

Behind the Curtain

project type.
Generative Design

In today’s society, the youth of the public have become desensitised to social issues while keeping themselves at first thought. As a result, misconceptions about homelessness have been taken out of context and is viewed by first impressions lead by the current stereotypes. Factors such as appearances, assumptions, media, film, and first impressions play a major part into how society perceives the homeless community. The first thing that enters a persons mind upon passing a homeless person is the stereotypical thoughts that this person may have a drug and alcohol addiction or have put themselves in that position and aren’t doing anything to remove themselves from their current situation. But what people don’t know is that these people are humans just like everyone in the world. Some of which are educated, have a job but are not in the best situation at the moment.

possible change.
To break the stereotypes and the multilayered assumptions the youth have on the homeless community by keeping an open mind and view the complexities of a situation that it is not what it seems. As well as having a better understanding about the issue, users will develop empathetic feelings towards homeless people in the hopes to take action and make a change in the homeless community and how they generally perceive homeless people. This will also generate a sense of hope that will be reflective from their experience.

the design action to support the change:
A seating arrangement situated in a university setting where an individual or a group of people converse with someone (homeless participant) who is behind a curtain. A set of instructions will be laid out on the table and a set of rules on how to participate with this design. It will prompt them to have an open mind and must solve a riddle to continue forward. Playing on the idea that there is more than what meets the eye, the user will have a normal conversation with them that leads to the revelation that they are conversing with a homeless person. Once the curtain is pulled away they are given a chance to see each other and reflect on their thoughts of their first impressions. Can the conversation between the user and homeless participant change their perceptions before looking at them? This will be followed with a written entry of what they’ve learnt from their experience, that will be displayed for other people to view.

image of how the user will interact with the design
image of how the user will interact with the design – the big reveal. 

post nine: brainstorming session

by zena dakkak
14222301_1779357662340142_8946789036485717954_n.jpgCollaborative mapping session


In our groups, we had 10 minutes to describe our possible design proposals and receive feedback. From there we would map and brain storm any ideas that surfaced or was triggered. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt throughout any process, there will always be strengths and weaknesses. This also applies to brainstorming sessions and collaborative work.


  • it was beneficial having multiple views about an issue or response. It allowed us to generate ideas and possible solutions for our projects that we could all use from
  • brainstorming sessions lead into discussions and could lead your idea onto a different, creating better and bigger ideas


  • we all had very similar ideas, which made it harder to produce different ideas for each person
  • the process was very repetitive due to the similarity of our chosen issue + ideas
  • we spent a great amount of time discussing an outcome rather than starting from the beginning of the process

post eight: the journey to the design response

by zena dakkak
14466997_10155251733218066_65398635_o (1).jpg
Individual brainstorm for 3A

My previous research consisted of the prevention methods of homelessness amongst the youth in the community. As I progressed into my research I gradually started to see the misconceptions, and negative views that society holds against the homeless community. To be completely honest I was one of those people who viewed and ignored the homeless people as I walked through Central tunnel. Through the final stages of collaborative mapping and research, I decided to focus on the desensitisation of societies perceptions of the homeless community.
My objective for this project is to open the eyes of society and break the barriers that allow society to view the homeless community as invisible. As well as my previous point, I hope to diminish the assumptions carried with the word homeless and the issues associated with society and the homeless community.

Individual brainstorm for 3B

five possible design responses:

  • Portraits of Invisibles. A series of portraits of real life people who have experienced or are experiencing homelessness. These posters will be situated in well populated areas that the target audience can view (university campus, train station, on buses as well as bus stops, shopping centres).
  • Pick & Choose. Interactive board that consists of stories of homeless people with hidden talents and information that would surprise the people of the public. 
  • The Mirror of Homelessness. Present a mirror that hangs from the ceiling. The person approaches it, portraying anyone can be homeless no matter who or what they’ve done in their life. 
  • ‘Have a Conversation with Me’. A table will be set up allowing people of the public to have conversations with people of the homeless community. This will enable people to communicate with them with the realisation that they are members of society just like they are. It will also create a positive outlook onto the homeless community that will bring hope. 
  • A Day in their Shoes. Attach a GoPro to a member of the homeless community to illustrate the harsh realities of society’s view on the issue of homelessness.

draft proposal

project title.
Pick & Choose.

practice type.
Generative design

the issue.
People of society, especially youth, don’t realise the complexity of homelessness. Based on face value, they judge the appearance of a homeless person not knowing anything about their background. In most cases, the homeless community have an educated background, a job and have hidden talents that everyone is not aware of because they are not given a chance.

the possible change.
In the hopes to encourage users to approach, help and raise awareness about this issues of homelessness amongst youths. This project will surprise and startle users to reflect on how they perceive people based on their looks rather than dissecting the multilayered assumptions society already holds.

the design action to support change.
To create an interactive board that allows users to pick and choose whether they think this person is homeless or not. This will be based on the real life stories that is evident on the screen. The users, not knowing the story is of a homeless person, then proceed to make a decision with their take of the situation. In some instances they will choose the wrong option which can lead them with the realisation that this story is based on a homeless person that is not described as their typical stereotypes.

post seven: collaborative issue mapping

by zena dakkak

To further our understanding of the issue of homelessness, in week five our collaborative group continued the mapping process with several brainstorming activities to inform each other of our findings. At this point, the brainstorming activities and mapping exercises allowed the group to view each others insights and perspectives into their research.

figure one: emotive words relating to the issue

Our first exercise consisted of listing any emotive words we thought contributed to the issue of homelessness. With over 200 word results we then wrote all the words onto paper, reading them aloud as we go in case of any repeated words. We laid them onto the tables and individually marked our initials with the words we thought stood out to us. I chose the following following words:
– Survival
– Assumptions
– Alone
– Privacy
– Strangers

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Following, we listed the words individually selected by each group member and mapped them besides the most powerful stakeholders and the least power stakeholders. At this point we realised that almost every word related to each of the listed stakeholders.


We then moved onto writing the antonyms for each word that was selected. All the original words had a negative connotation to our issue, but as soon as we wrote the antonyms it shed a different light onto the issue and emphasised the importance of creating a positive outlook in order to progress with change.










To add to our group discoveries, we further mapped the controversies surrounding homelessness and then listed the human and non human actors and stakeholders involved.

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At the beginning of this process, I didn’t really think this issue was so complex. Like many others I thought it was as simple as it is shown online or in the media. After doing some further research into my issue I began to have a basic understanding of the problems the homeless community are facing on a daily basis. Similarly, the group mapping process proved to be very valuable as we all had similar yet different views on the issue. With further research, our group was able to understand, map and flesh out a deeper understanding into the issue efficiently.

Working as a group demonstrated beneficial as it enabled us to listen and respond to each other’s perspectives on the issue. We were able to map many insights as a group rather than the little we had as individuals. As a group I found it interesting how everyone mapped their ideas. Each group member was helpful with their input and created a mapping method that will assist me in the future to create design solutions. Their views were very important and allowed me to thoroughly add additional information on the issue I would like to pursue.

As a result of co-creating maps, it has enabled me to realise the different views, hidden perspectives/ assumptions that if I solely working by myself I could not see. It has also allowed me to experiment with different approaches to map additional information that I have collected. I have started to seek different methods that I may not have considered.


post six: scraping web data

by zena dakkak

For this exercise I decided to focus on Twitter in order to gather data about the the publics view on homelessness. Twitter, created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass, is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. These tweets can be shared and viewed publicly or privately. Additionally users can also add hashtags that will reach a wider audience when users search that specific hashtag. Users can read and post tweets and access Twitter through the website interface, SMS or mobile device app. Other additional features have been added to enhance the users experience when it comes to text limitation. These features include the Twitter timeline, pinned Tweets, polls, mention Tweets, lists messages and cards as well as click to Tweets to extend the conversations. 

Essentially Twitter is used to connect people of all ages with the same interests. It can be used as a social and professional platform where users voice their opinion, breaking news, raise awareness on social issues, business, educational tools, share their thoughts and feelings and experiences through photos or tweets.  


Data Scrapping Flow chart.jpg


At first I was very specific with my Twitter search which proved to not what I was expecting. 

Twitter Search
youth homeless social OR australia OR youth OR homeless OR smelly OR privacy OR people OR alone OR mental OR health OR depression lang:en.
Most of the results had surprised me as it validated some points that I had about social exclusion. 

Screen Shot 2016-09-18 at 5.40.19 PM.png

A lot of the search consisted on LGBT related tweets confirming that there is a vast majority of youths around theworld that feel socially excluded and are homeless. Although these results were interesting, it wasn’t enough data, so I generated a new search. To continue my research I excluded LGBT to see what the results will show. 
Twitter Search
homeless social OR youth OR homeless OR smelly OR privacy OR people OR alone OR mental OR health -LBGT lang_en –
This search interestingly enough showed reoccurring views regarding homelessness. One of which was related to the issue of refugee VS homeless citizens. Most of the tweets explored the problem that the country is facing choosing between the refugees and the homeless citizens.

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Other tweets had a political view which relates to the new agreement for the US to send $38 billion to Israel. 

Dr. Craig Considine – @CraigCons
US govt. sends $38,000,000,000 to the Israel govt, yet this morning I walked my 3 homeless people on the way to work. This makes no sense.


Twitter search
homeless  “hobo ” social OR australia OR youth OR homeless OR smelly OR privacy OR people OR hobo -LGBT lang:en

Finally, drawing upon the exercise in class, we emphasised on the word hobo and its connection with the word homelessness. To further explore my research I added the word hobo to my search.  I wanted to investigate what hobo means and the assumptions and different views the public holds. To start off I searched the definition of ‘hobo’. It is defined as a homeless person; a tramp or vagrant. When narrowing down my search I kept the meaning in mind and compared tweets. 
Most tweets referred to their physical appearance, others made fun of homeless people, lacking empathy for the homeless community. 

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Whereas fashion brands used the word as the title of a fashion object or reflected the the garments of a homeless person which in a way, mocks the homeless population, misleading and gives the word a new meaning in a way that society sees fit. 

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design proposition

In the next couple of weeks I hope to not only raise awareness about homeless but also explore the desensitisation of societies perspective about homelessness. I will be creating a service design that enables the people of the public and the homeless community interact with each other to break the barriers and assumptions of society.

summary points

  1. Twitter & twitter archiver is a great online tool to gather data and understand how a wider audience perceives a certain topic.
  2. When researching data, sometimes the simpler the better. Specific phrases can be very limited and one must be open to explore other options which can lead to an improved result.
  3. People’s views can be interpreted in different ways. Most of which are based on assumptions rather than facts.
  4. Very few posts reflected peoples motivation to help the homeless community. Rather it’s all talk but no action. (Did not see any movements or protests for the homeless community).
  5. People use the word hobo for their own benefits not knowing the true meaning behind it and lacking empathy towards the homeless community.






post five: harsh perceptions & realities of homelessness

by zena dakkak


Understanding perceptions and stereotyping is key in understanding how and why society thinks of homeless people in the way they do. For my interview I really wanted to dig deep and uncover the thoughts of people between the ages of 18-25. I interviewed a university student to further discover these issues and explore the issue of homelessness and how her views could impact my findings.


I began my interview with some basic questions to understand what kind of perspective April has on the homeless community. Ultimately when asked how she feels when she sees a homeless person she expressed her sympathy for them.

“I feel pity, and feel sorry for them. I share empathy for them, as they are very unfortunate”

To further investigate her perception of homeless people I continued to ask what she thinks the causes of homelessness is. Unsurprisingly, the answers that were provided were as I expected as I had the same views before I started my investigation into homelessness. Based on her assumed knowledge and what she’s heard, she stated that she feels the main causes of homelessness are mainly drugs and alcohol, family and financial issues. But as we progressed with our conversation I discovered she’d rather spend her money on herself because she’s uncertain of where they’d spend the money if she donated it to them. She expressed that instead of change they will continue to waste their money on unnecessary items rather than changing their lifestyle. But the uncertainty is that maybe they don’t know where to begin, or are too embarrassed to approach centres.

The conversation develops into the harsh realities the issue of homelessness and how the people of the public view it. As a university student that passes Central tunnel all the time, there are constantly homeless people asking for spare change or for food. Often ignored, they are perceived as invisible. When asked what her response is if she were to be approached and asked for help by a homeless person, she states that she carries on like it’s a causal day, oblivious to her surroundings and continues to walk.

“Usual casual day walks past, ignore than and decline”

Because of this repeated action the thought of her ignoring a homeless person quickly leaves her mind and does not linger resulting with her getting used to the action and moving on with her day.

As we discuss the issue of homeless in the short amount of time that we had, she conveys her thoughts on how society and the public are selfish and only like to think of themselves when it comes to complex and social issues like homelessness. The issue of homelessness isn’t often spoken about because society chooses to ignore and dehumanise them causing them to think that they are lesser than themselves. She communicates that they don’t concern us or impact our daily lives so as a result we neglect them and ignore their requests for help.

Design Probe

To further gather insight into the extent of the issue of homelessness around the city, I asked my interviewee to keep a tally of all the homeless people she sees on the way home. The results are as follows.

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday
8 7 5 10 6 7 6

The amount of people shown vary from day to day but show a significant insight into just how many people live on the street. This is a small indication to show just how big this issue is and that extra awareness needs to established in order to abolish these typical stereotypes.


Given the short time we had to conduct the interview, I was able to gather some insight into the issue of homelessness among the age group discussed earlier. Of course with more interviews I think I would have a better understanding into the perceptions of my audience.

As expected, my interview confirmed my thoughts of the stereotypes already established within society. After investigating into the mind of my interviewee it was clear that most of the communities do not know the struggles homeless people go through to survive. They take one look at them and quicken their pace to avoid any contact with them. Hopefully with extra research and findings, I hope to create a better understanding of homelessness and social exclusion for communities.


Five Summary points

  • Evidence that there is a lack of understanding when it comes to homelessness
  • Instead of assisting the homeless and have a better understanding of their situation, the public is more likely to pass by and use the money for themselves
  • Society is viewed as selfish. They only like to think of themselves when it comes to materialistic objects. Whereas the homeless view them as a survival tool
  • Homelessness is a complex and underrated issue that needs awareness to educate the public about this problem within the community
  • Stereotypes were confirmed while progressing with the interview

post four: fonts of the homeless

by zena dakkak

Around 3000 people are homeless in Barcelona. The Arrels foundation supports homeless people on their way to independence, by offering accommodation, food and social and health care. In 2013, Arrels worked with 1,354 people, 436 of whom actually sleep in the street. In 2014, there was currently about 3,000 homeless people in Barcelona, 900 of whom actually lived on the street.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 11.44.29 PM
Figure 1 – Homeless peoples signs, showing the uniqueness is their handwriting

In partnership with The Cyranos Mccann, an advertising agency, the Arrels foundation joins the artistic side with social commitment. As stated by the director of the Arrels foundation, Ferran Busquets, their aim was to “raise and transform the popular view of the issue of homeless people” and to bring some dignity to the life of the homeless. By organising workshops to turn their handwriting into typefaces, this became a powerful tool to raise awareness about homelessness.

The project focuses the unique handwriting of homeless people. The handwriting of someone gives an insight of their personality and the Arrels foundation wanted to bring these two aspects together. They created different workshops for participants to do various typographic exercises where it then goes through a design process which results in a useable font. Brands can purchase them through the website and get to hear the stories of the people who participated in the project. The fonts could also be used on brands different platforms such as their social media, brand identities, advertising, stationery etc.

Figure 2 – Loraine’s Font used on branding identity
Figure 3 – Participant writing
Figure 4 – Workshop exercises

All the funds that is collected through will be used to finance the works of the Arrels foundation for homeless people in Barcelona.



Figure 1, 2, 3 & 4 – Busquets, F. 2016, Arrels Foundation, Arrels Foundation, viewed 20 August, 2016, <>.
Busquets, F. 2016, Arrels Foundation, Arrels Foundation, viewed 20 August, 2016, <>.
Foundation, A. Homeless Fonts, Homeless Font Website, Arrels Foundation, Web, viewed 20 August 2016, <>.
McCann, T. July 4, 2016, TheCyranos//McCann Facebook Page, TheCyranos//McCann, Facebook, viewed 20 August, 2016, <>.

post three: understanding the stakeholders of homelessness

by zena dakkak


map one: initial map of focusing on homelessness between the age bracket of 18-25. (map one, collective group, 2016)

To begin the research into homelessness, I began to brainstorm everything that was to my knowledge. This collaborative map investigates some opinions, interests and attitudes from our understanding of the specified age group of 18-25. Although a minority are aware of the issue, the majority of the individuals lack the understanding and social awareness of this serious issue and lack the empathy to contribute and raise the awareness needed to assist the homeless. From this map it allowed us to further explore and investigate complex factors that contribute to youth homelessness.

map one

Blog Post 3 Stakeholders Map

map one: primary participants and stakeholders involved in the issue of homelessness. It also includes details regarding the category (map one, Dakkak 2016).

My initial map explores all the possible stakeholders and participants involved in the issue of homelessness. It focuses on powerful sectors of society but also individuals.

map two

Blog Post 3 Experience Map.png

map two: map two focuses on the people who experience homelessness and some possible reasons why. (map two, Dakkak 2016).

I continue exploring the options by focusing on the people who are most likely to experience homelessness and the reasons as to why they would end up homeless.

map three


map three: collaborative map of stakeholders from most powerful to least power. (map three, collective group, 2016)

At this point into out research, after working on a word exercise in relation to homelessness, we explored the stakeholders and placed them on a map considering how powerful they were. Towards the top of the map, the powerful government and business based groups that have the upper hand in society are placed. They control money, law and society. As a result these are the groups that use their power to their advantage and control the perspective of society rather than using it to fix the issue. As we move to the bottom of the map it illustrates the members of the public who have the least power. This conveys the the people of society who have little power and have difficulties with the issue of the position they’re in.


Image Archive

Below are 10 images that portray the issue of homelessness. They all share a powerful meaning exploring the dangers and realities of being homeless in society.

image one

Winter Collection.jpeg
image one: Poignant Posters: Winter Collection (Yoo, 2011)

This image illustrates India’s youth living on the street with nothing more than the resources that they have available. The child can be seen posing as if it would be a normal fashion editorial campaign. The title “Winter Collection” can be seen in a different light than what society is used to, creating the audience to come to the realisation of what little materials and clothes the homeless youth of India have with them.


Image two

Dont waste your money.jpg
Image two: Your Kindness Could Kill (Void, 2014)

This image takes a look at homelessness in a harsh and stereotypical way. The charity responsible for the posters urges the public to donate to them rather than to give to the homeless, conveying the typical stereotypes that society already has that the homeless spend their money on drugs and may kill them. The figure in the image is made up of coins illustrating the “kindness” of the public that “could kill”.


Image three

Image four: 

This poster illustrates two scenarios; one showing a typical home cooked meal while the second portrays where the youth of Vancouver find their food. It has been cleverly put side by side to convey that homeless or not, everyone is human and this could happen to anyone.


Image four

Image four: Artwork of man holding sign (Unknown)

The artwork of the man projects a strong message that homeless people don’t want money but rather they want the public to do something about the issue and assist them in different ways. It shares a positive light as it illustrates that people want to see change, but then again its actually putting words into action which is difficult. The image serves as a reminder to think about social justice and not only to raise awareness about this issue but to also think of other ways to help the homeless besides giving them money.


Image five

Image five: Series for homelessness campaign (Pope, 2007)

Something that we all take for granted are the everyday things we use at home. In this case Crispin and Porter created these minimalist campaigns for Miami Rescue Mission to raise awareness about homelessness. By creating these simple campaigns it bluntly conveys the struggles homeless people have every day.

Image six

Image six: UNICEF China’s Homeless campaign (Mych, 2010)

“The invisibles”. Ignored, avoided and neglected. UNICEF China’s campaign “Do not Ignore Me” portrays the harsh and often dismissed realities of the homeless youth on the streets of China. The images show two children camouflaged with their surroundings further expressing the term of being “invisible”. Often society walk past and ignore the homeless and it has been presented in a simple way with these images.  


Image seven

Image seven: Homeless people holding up facts about themselves (Bonderman, 2014)

These images, captured from a very powerful video, illustrate that homelessness can happen to anyone. Rethink Homelessness worked on this project in Orlando and asked homeless people to write one surprising fact about them. Their aim was to humanise people who sleep in their cars, on the streets and in subways. Their answers, as shown in this image, proved to be powerful and was not expected.


Image eight


Image eight: Awareness Campaign for the homeless (Unknown)

The placement of the posters are placed specifically to convey where the homeless youth are situated everyday. The message behind the posters really make the audience take a second look and rethink how to help to the homeless. It also grabs the attention of people who walk by, leaving them with the guilty thoughts most of society tries to ignore.

Image nine

Image nine: Two World (Donnelly, 2013)

This comic projects the constant neglect and avoidance society has towards homelessness. While the people of the public can be seen in high end brands, they continue to ignore and dehumanise homeless people.


Image ten

Image ten: Tweets from haters (TeleSur, 2015)

The public took social media to project their perspectives about homeless people. This image explores the hatred and negative attitude towards the homeless. As part of a viral video created by a Canadian non-profit organisation Raising the Roof their aim was to change people’s attitudes towards the homeless, and get them to see that those who are dealing with extreme poverty are human beings too. This image shows the ‘ugly’ side society that the homeless community  are constantly dealing with.



References: image archive
image one: Yoo, A. 2011, Poignant Posters: Winter Collection Share, Inspire, Connect, My Modern Met, viewed August, 28 2016, <>.
image two: Void, J. 2014, Don’t Give Money To Beggars At Christmas Say Bastards Who Run Homelessness Charities, Blog, WordPress, viewed August 28 2016, <>.
image three: Netley, R. 2013, Covenant House Vancouver Campaign, Graphic Profile, Behance, viewed August 28 2016, <>.
Image four: Unknown Unknown, I want Change, Social Change, Weebly, viewed August 28 2016, <>.
Image five: Pope, S. 2007, An Inconvenient Truth For Copywriters: How To Write Headlines And Why Your Career Depends On It, Advertising, IHaveAnIdea, viewed August 28 2016, <>.
Image six: Myck August 20, 2010, Dossier: Advertisement and Humanitarian, Marketing & Advertising, Paper Blog, viewed August 28 2016, <>.
Image seven: Bonderman, C. 2014, 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Homeless People, Takepart, Takepart, Takepart, viewed August 28, 2016, <>.
Image eight: Unknown Unknown, Interesting Awareness Campaign for the Homeless, Travel & Architecture, Wave Avenue, viewed August 28 2016, <>.
Image nine: Donnelly, L. 2013, Two Worlds, All Over The World, Blog, WordPress, viewed August 28 2916, <>.
Image ten: TeleSur 2015, Video of Homeless Crying While Reading Twitter Views Goes Viral, DailyMail, TeleSur, viewed August 28 2016, <>.



post two: early intervention on homeless youth

by zena dakkak

Focusing on the ‘How Early Intervention and Prevention Underpins the Victorian Response to Youth Homelessness’, Ian Gough, Consumer Services Manager, Council to Homeless Persons, discusses the increase of recognition of homelessness as a social problem in the 1970s to 2015.

During the 1970s through to 2002 he saw an increase in demand from homeless young people using night shelters or sleeping rough. These factors shaped the response to youth homelessness, with youth refugees becoming the key solution in Victoria and other states. Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) saw an increased focus on support and specific, tailored responses to young people experiencing homelessness and as a result programs were introduced. Towards 2002 the Victorian Homelessness Strategy (VHS), identified the need to develop and implement new services; an action plan with the aim of working towards a more “integrated holistic service response for young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness”.

The action plan from 2002 – 2015 created by Creating Connections, formally known as Youth Homelessness Action Plan 1), consisted of many programs to strengthen a young person’s connection to family and community, and to regain balance into their life. Many of the listed programs involve family reconciliation services; renting housing, job opportunities etc. But although these programs were introduced, the author failed to focus on any programs that would assist youths that are already experiencing mental hardship. As that is an important factor to also take into account, it plays a significant role into the youths thought process, which could affect the next step into their lives.


In his article, Sean A. Kidd, builds upon his previous research and examines “the mental health implications of social stigma as it is experienced by homeless youth”. Studies were conducted in New York and in Toronto surveying 208 youths who lived on the streets and in agencies. Surveys revealed “significant revealed significant associations between perceived stigma due to homeless status and sexual orientation, pan handling and sex trade involvement, and amount of time homeless”. Other perceived stigma also related to low self-esteem, feeling trapped, suicidal thoughts, loneliness and also guilt and self-blame due to their homeless status. Thus having a strong impact on their mental health.

Most homeless youth were reported:

  • To be troubled from disrupted and abusive home environments
  • Had a high rate of drug and alcohol use
  • Marital discord caused by domestic violence, household moves including changing of schools
  • Frequent reports on emotional abuse and neglect

Negative home experiences are associated with other problems, which include poor performance at school, conflict with teachers, and conduct problems. The factors mentioned above are understood to deviate from the ideals of the ‘social norm’. They have an effect of placing the individual outside of society’s definition of normal. By having such a disrupted childhood, it initiates a process of stigmatisation, which results with identifying and labelling individuals as different.

With the youth experiencing this early experiences of negativity it plays a role in their future which is likely to leave them more “vulnerable to negative experiences associated with social stigma on the streets”.

In order to survive street youth engage in different activities to support themselves. These include:

  • Looking for work
  • Seeking money from family and friends
  • Panhandling
  • Prostitution
  • Survival sex for food, shelter
  • Drug dealing
  • Theft

He continues by explaining his hypothesis, methods, findings and conclusion. In each, he further investigates the problems that homeless youths are faced with with social stigma. Results show that homeless youths’ that experience stigma “play a major role in their mental health status and suicide risk level”. It is suggested that it is important for interventions to address social stigma and how it is perceived/ experienced by young people. It will assist to explore how these perceptions are affecting their mental health in order to find ways to protect themselves from any judgment or discrimination they may face while on the streets. Individuals can replace the feeling of guilt or shame into a positive thought process by understanding the various “factors underlying stigma and systemic discrimination”.

Gough, Ian. How early intervention and prevention underpins the Victorian response to youth homelessness [online]. Parity, Vol. 28, No. 3, Apr 2015: 46-48. Availability:<;dn=148341214602261;res=IELFSC>ISSN: 1032-6170. [cited 16 Aug 16].

Kidd, S.A. 2006, ‘Youth Homelessness and Social Stigma’, Youth homelessness and social stigma, , no. J Youth Adolescence, pp. 298-299.

post one: youth homelessness

by zena dakkak

Mission Australia report finds one in seven young people at risk of homelessness written by Rachel Browne, a Social Affairs Reporter for Fairfax Media expresses her concern about vulnerable teenagers on the verge of being homeless in her article. One in 7 young people are at a risk of becoming homeless. To further the reader’s understanding Browne gathers information on the analysed data provided by Mission Australia in its annual survey. Results show that 13.5 percent of the 15-19 year olds faced with the threat of homelessness.

Continuing she mentions that young people who are homeless are more likely to suffer disrupted schooling, risky drug and alcohol use and mental illness. Mission Australia’s chief executive Catherine Yeomans, a participant in the article, describes the risks that the youth of Australia are facing. She focuses her concern with the federally funded services and support system that will that cut off in June of 2017. Browne continues to illustrate the issue of homelessness by interviewing young youth who have experienced being homeless and the constant struggles they are being faced with.


Elise Pianegonda, an online producer in the ABC’s Canberra newsroom, focuses on what it’s like to be homeless through the eyes of 23 year old Nathan Beer. After a month long experiment to raise awareness about homelessness and how easily it can happen, Nathan returns to his warm bed in Canberra.

Through the eyes of the homeless portrays a personal experience of the risks of being homeless. Among the many obvious issues of being homeless (no house, shortage of supplies, financial struggles etc) Nathan learned a harsh reality. The article discussed Nathan’s realisation that alcoholism is a product of their survival. The homeless drink to stay warm and numb the issues that they are faced with daily. Through this article it conveys the emotional strain of self worth that is displayed on the streets and their psychological state societies force them to be in. Society fails to recognise homeless people and view them as invisible. Although they can apply for housing through Centrelink, as mentioned, they don’t because of their psychological state.


Opal card: No paper tickets to be used on NSW public transport, concerns for homeless population

With eight years in the political industry, state political reporter Ashleigh Raper reports about the concern for the homeless population regarding the new Opal card system. While the new system is “so much more convenient” disadvantaged homeless people will be left unable to travel due to the cancellation of paper tickets. The transition from paper to card has concerns proving to be difficult due to not having accessibility to the resources or literacy and computer skills needed.

The article further demonstrates that homeless people are left with to way to travel on public transport because they are transient and unless they are known to a centre to have their mail sent there it would be very difficult for them to go through the process to register for an opal card. Charities like Wollongong Homeless Hub and many others, used to provide single bus/train tickets to their clients but as the new systems come into play that will no longer be possible. The state Opposition Mr Walton mentions in the article that the transport of NSW have been working with charities to help out those people who don’t have a permanent home.


Smartphones are a lifeline for homeless people, by Rosie Spinks, explains the value of smartphones among the homeless community in order to connect with vital support and combat social exclusion.

While society views a smartphone as a luxury item to use at their leisure, the homeless community view it as a life tool. Spinks describes that they are dependent on this technology as a source for stability. It enables the community to reach out and have a constant connection with the services (support services, case workers and to look for jobs or housing) that aid them to progress through their day and their lives. It also serves as a getaway from being isolated and according to Hafsah FitzGibbon, partnerships and participation manager for youth homeless charity Centrepoint, “a way to create networks to combat social exclusion”.

“Smartphones are incomparable tools for connecting people who are isolated”

Rosie Spinks continues in her article by portraying that having mobile phones creates an easier way to connect and stay in touch with the homeless community which can be passed onto other organisations that can assist them getting off the street quicker.

Only a handful of business addressing the issue support the project of distributing mobile phones to the homeless people. Through this, mobile phones play the role of stabilising homeless people’s lives. But the community is faced with challenges like the maintenance of the phone and finding a place to charge it, or having enough space for necessary apps. Although the homeless community is faced with these challenges, project managers are trying to build a social network where homeless people can find support and a way to collect data on their experience of homelessness via self reporting.


Ninety-five per cent of people experiencing homelessness are “invisible” to the public. In order to raise awareness for the homeless community, Happn, a dating app, will give its users an insight into ‘invisible homelessness’. It explores the couch surfing, rough sleeps in cars, rooming houses and caravan parks. It gives the opportunity for Happn users to pass by a location where someone has been homeless and reveals the stories of real life people and the different ways homelessness exists. It urges people to take action and to put an end to homelessness.

Rebecca David, author of the article, continues to convey that there is no right image of homelessness. She further describes this as chief executive Jenny Smith of the Council to Homeless Persons states that “… homelessness can happen to anyone at any time regardless of their age, gender, or employment status.” Challenging stereotypes is one of the issues that the community is faced with. In the hopes to unite the community to solve the problem, Smith stresses that support from the Government to end homelessness and funding from the NPAH is “a critical piece of that” process.

Cover photo:  PIF 2016, Sydney’s homeless youth benefit from the winter campaign  , News, Property Industry Foundation, viewed August 13 2016, <>.
Browne, R. February 16, 2016, ‘Mission Australia report finds one in seven young people at risk of homelessness‘, The Sydney Morning Herald, (NSW News), viewed August 13, 2016, <>.
Pianegonda, E. August 8, 2013, ‘Through the eyes of the homeless  ‘, ABC, (News), viewed August 13, 2016, <>.
Raper, A. August 1, 2016, ‘Opal card: No paper tickets to be used on NSW public transport, concerns for homeless population  ‘, ABC, (ABC News), viewed August 13, 2016, <>.
Spinks, R. October 1, 2015, ‘Smartphones are a lifeline for homeless people‘, The Guardian, (Technology and Innovation), viewed August 13, 2016, <>.
David, R. July 29, 2016, ‘Dating app to shine a light on hidden homelessness‘, Herald Sun, (Leader), viewed August 13, 2016, <>.