North America

With One Voice published the first North America Review of Arts and Homelessness in April 2017. This showed a highly passionate and effective yet fragmented sector which is under-resourced and projects are not connected with one another. Our main recommendation in the report is to bring the arts and homelessness sector together to share practise through a 7-day exchange for delegates from USA, Canada and UK in Montréal.

20 delegates from arts/homelessness NGOs, activists, practitioners, policy makers and homeless people will come together for the week (in mid-November) with a larger group being invited to a one-day summit during the 7 days.

Montréal has been selected as the meeting point for the exchange since there are around a dozen high quality projects working in this field in the city displaying highly innovative practise. These include EXEKO which uses the philosophy of ‘equality of intellect’ to effect social inclusion for homeless people; St James Centre a dynamic homeless centre with arts programmes; Le Sac a Dos who have been working with Opera de Montréal to stage an opera involving homeless people and ATSA which runs an annual arts and homelessness festival. This festival takes place between 16-19 November so we are timing the exchange to coincide, thus maximizing the exchange and learning experience for the delegates.

Aims of the exchange

The main aims of the exchange in November are:

  • To bring together arts/homelessness projects, policy-makers in the field and people with an experience of homelessness from USA, Canada and UK. This will be the first time the North American arts/homelessness sector will have come together in history
  • To share practice, methodology and toolkits through presentations and workshops
  • To work with partners to deliver artist training including in participatory singing and Legislative Theatre
  • Involve the delegation in shaping and developing the first arts/homelessness strategy for North America
  • Involve the delegation in With One Voice’s Cultural Spaces Homelessness Strategy review
  • To develop local networks of arts/homelessness in cities in North America