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Real people: The exhibition combines images of formerly-homeless people with a line of text describing their character.

This is a terrific idea because it reminds us that homeless people are human too.

It is easy to de-humanise the people sleeping rough or begging – to view them as obstacles to be passed or ignored.

That seems an easy route to the kind of behaviour that has been connected to the deaths of rough sleepers recently.

But the Inspirational Voices exhibition at Manchester’s Piccadilly railway station will present huge portraits of people who have been homeless, along with a label chosen by the model to represent their personality.

Homelessness charity The Booth Centre, which provides advice on finding accommodation, education and training as well as helping to secure long-term employment, is to be praised for this idea.

And Greater Manchester is leading the way in its monitoring of what happens to the homeless. Labour mayor Andy Burnham has launched an initiative to record the deaths of homeless people after the Westminster government showed it couldn’t care less.

The exhibition will take place in the railway station’s concourse from November 12-18, and will then move to Media City for a week. It would be welcome if we saw it on television, then.

No doubt most people will walk past this exhibition without giving it a second thought.

But if even a minority are influenced by it, some good will have been done.

Huge portraits of former rough sleepers and homeless people will take pride of place at Manchester’s biggest train station.

The Inspirational Voices exhibition aims to challenge misconceptions of homelessness by capturing each person’s individual achievements and hopes.

Source: Huge portraits of homeless people will be put on display at Piccadilly – with an important message – Manchester Evening News

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