Out in the Open - the bedsit garden located outside Hollytrees Museum, part of Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service

Breaking the homelessness bubble

Rebecca Atkinson, 15.10.2012
Latest MP on museums' work with people experiencing homelessness
After years of declining trends, 2010 marked the turning point when all forms of homelessness began to rise, according to the charity Crisis. And the delayed effects of the economic downturn, along with housing and other benefit cuts, means that homelessness is expected to increase further.

Museums and other cultural organisations are increasingly recognising the role they can play in helping people recover from homelessness, through creative outreach workshops, sustainable volunteering programmes and oral history projects that give individuals a voice to share their stories.

The October issue of Museum Practice explores some specific aspects of this work.

The articles include case studies from the Museum of London, London Transport Museum and the British Library in London; the Holburne Museum in Bath; and Pallant House Gallery in Chichester.

Ciara Canning, senior curator at Colchester and Ipswich Museums, explains some of the challenges she faced during Out in the Open, a series of projects with people from the homeless community.

And Rose Paquet Kinsley shares her research on how museums in the US could engage with people experiencing homelessness, which includes specific considerations that museums could keep in mind when engaging with adults who are or have been homeless.

There is also a selection of case studies from readers in the Your Case Studies section of the site.

Click here to read Museum Practice