The Centre for Social Impact at The University of Western Australia (CSI UWA) recently received an award for their Exceptional Contribution to Education Futures at UWA for their work in developing a 360 degree video offering an insight into homelessness in Perth.
Wearing virtual reality headsets (or using other devices), viewers of ‘Windows into Homelessness’ see different real-world scenarios of homelessness that challenge their preconceived ideas on the subject and provide a deeper understanding of the realities of living homeless. We believe this to be extremely important due to the commonplace misrepresentation of people experiencing homelessness in the media. Situations represented in the film intentionally include those that are not always represented in mainstream media, including family and domestic violence, financial insecurity, couch-surfing, and sleeping in a car.
This experiential learning resource utilising emerging technologies was developed primarily for students of the CSI UWA unit Changing the World: Social Innovation, Finance & Enterprise (BUSN1102), which engages, challenges, and transforms students as well as offering service learning opportunities. The group project requires students to design a social enterprise, including engaging with the local community, community organisations and employees, and in some cases people with lived experience, to understand a social issue and how it may be addressed with social enterprise. ‘Windows into Homelessness’ provides a safe but authentic and powerful way to further engage with, and understand, a social issue.
‘Windows into Homelessness’ is openly available to the general public and has featured in a number of events since it was completed in July 2017, including the Social Impact Festival. It was developed by film-makers Michelle Bunting and Luke Griffiths in collaboration with CSI UWA and local community service organisations St Bartholomew’s House, Ruah, and St Patrick’ Community Centre.
You can watch the video here (best viewed on VR headset, or mobile device with headphones): https://youtu.be/V_sBFMEMRDU