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Virtual Reality Is Being Used to Tackle Homelessness

Virtual Reality Is Being Used to Tackle Homelessness

A groundbreaking Virtual Reality (VR) experience is being utilised to raise awareness about homelessness. This immersive experience allows participants to see through the eyes of rough sleepers, experiencing the harsh realities of life on the streets, the challenges they face, and the resilience they demonstrate.

“Streets of Change” has produced a documentary and VR experience, following real individuals in Northampton on their journey from the streets to recovery.

West Northamptonshire Council has reported a significant rise in homelessness in the area, with five new referrals being received every day. This alarming trend underscores the urgent need for innovative solutions, such as the VR experience, to address this pressing societal issue.

Film director Judi Alston expressed her hope that the project would challenge “preconceptions” about homeless people and emphasise the importance of addressing this “growing societal problem.”

The filmmakers, One to One Development Trust, and West Northamptonshire Council’s outreach team have joined forces, documenting their collective efforts in supporting individuals who were homeless, sleeping rough, or struggling with addiction.

Challenging Stereotypes

The trust also created an immersive VR and documentary experience, offering an insight into the loneliness and homelessness experienced on the streets at night. The scenes incorporate poetry and artwork created by homeless individuals. This experience, set to be used in educational settings, will provide a unique and empathetic perspective on homelessness, fostering understanding and compassion among students.

Ms Alston stated, “There are many preconceptions about people who are homeless. This project aims to challenge some of those stereotypes and raise awareness of the stories of those affected, highlighting the importance of agencies working together to support this growing societal problem.”

The documentary film and VR experience are scheduled to be launched later this month and can be seen here: