In January 2016, a group of Housing First staff, clients, and evaluators collaborated to conduct a PhotoVOICE project. The goal of the project was to better understand clients’ experiences in the program and to provide them with a mechanism to provide formal feedback to the program. HF clients chose to use Photovoice to explore and communicate their experiences with homelessness and housing to the program, evaluators, and larger Honolulu community. By giving Housing First clients and staff their own camera for three weeks, this project allowed clients to identify issues and aspects of their experiences in the program that were important to them.
From March to May 2016, HF clients took photographs that represented issues and aspects of their experiences that were important to them. Twenty-three (23) participants contributed to the project over a four-week period, with 18 clients taking over 300 photographs. These clients included clients who had been housed from two to thirteen months. Through weekly group discussions, they shared their photographs, discussed their experiences, and conducted thematic analysis. In July 2016, the PV group held an exhibit at Honolulu Hale in collaboration with IHS, the City, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s (UHM) College of Social Sciences. The exhibit was well attended by local politicians and community members. This exhibit was displayed again at UHM’s Hamilton Library in November 2018.
The Photovoice group continued to meet throughout 2017 to co-author a research article that reported findings from the Photovoice study. The article was published in the American Journal for Community Psychologyin January 2018.