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Vancouver exhibit showcases foster care kids' ideas of home

"Home means many things. It could be a place, a smell, a sense of safety and comfort. For others, it's an idea, an empty shell, a place of violence or loneliness."

So opens the description of a new art exhibit in Vancouver that "sheds light on the heart of home and homelessness, through the eyes and expressions of young people on their journeys from foster care to adulthood."

About 40 youth who were homeless or in foster care will exhibit their art as part of Homeless Action Week, on until Oct. 19. The exhibit was organized by the Vancouver Foundation and Leave Out Violence BC (LOVE BC).

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, the public is invited to see the works. The exhibit is at MAKE, 257 East 7th Avenue, Vancouver. To meet the artists and participate in a community conversation on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 4 to 7 p.m., register here.

Below is a preview of some of the projects.

Shadows by Geoffrey: "Homelessness is waking up in the morning with no one to watch your back. Having someone you can trust makes a big difference."

Boxes, by Marcela: "This photo shows half unpacked boxes in the home of a low-income family. After having moved three times due to increased housing costs, the family is never too sure how long they can afford to be in one place before the rent will be increased. Things are kept half packed in case they have to move out again."

The Cracks, by Sydney: "It makes a big difference if you have a time limit or not. The less time you have to transition from one thing to the next, the greater the chance of falling through the cracks."

Next Step, by Willow: "Some people have support, some people have time to make a plan. For some people homelessness was just thrown upon them unexpectedly. 'Hey, you’re on your own…'"

Pieta Woolley reports on solutions to breaking the link between foster care and youth homelessness for the Tyee Solutions Society.

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