Shelter Nova Scotia asks for help after photos of homelessness display stolen

Haley Ryan
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Local photographer Sue Siri poses for a photo next to one of the large window displays that was installed at the Alderney Landing Ferry Terminal for the shoot in November.

By Haley Ryan

Metro Halifax

The theft of a series of photos promoting awareness around homelessness is “wrong on so many levels,” says the executive director of Shelter Nova Scotia.

Don Spicer said on Jan. 16 he filed a report with the Halifax Regional Police after he said 15 large photos that were part of the Seeing Through – One Community, Many Faces campaign were stolen from the windows of Alderney Landing.

“I can’t think of why someone would do something like this,” Spicer said quietly over the phone.

“When a not-for-profit is just trying to better the lives of people who are experiencing homelessness, and then you steal their ability to do that, it’s just wrong on so many levels.”

The photos, 30 inches by 30 inches, were printed onto white vinyl and shot by local photographer Sue Siri.

Spicer said a witness saw a man and woman take the 15 photos down on Jan.5 around 2:30 p.m., but the theft wasn’t reported until now because he wanted to ensure someone in the campaign hadn’t taken them.

The suspects were described as white, and the man was tall and thin with a beard and raspy voice. The woman was shorter than the man, with a small to medium build and shoulder-length dark hair.

“(He) spoke to the witness and claimed to be the photographer that took the pictures,” Spicer said. “The witness … thought nothing more of it and left the area, and the couple walked out the door.”

Shelter Nova Scotia was planning to use the images for more awareness campaigns in the future, Spicer said, and is “extremely disappointed” they’re gone because they can’t afford to have the photos reproduced.

They got the original set for free thanks to Siri and other sponsors, but it would cost $7,500 to reprint them now, Spicer said.

“We were so excited and proud of this project,” Spicer said. “To have somebody steal it out from under us is upsetting for sure.”

Anyone who has information about the photos or suspects is asked to contact police.


Organizations: Shelter Nova Scotia, Halifax Regional Police

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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