There had been a computer error, it wasn’t my fault but my housing benefit had stopped going into my landlords account. He threatened me and when the 6 month lease came up he didn’t re-new it. I moved in with my partner, but we argued, silly arguments- I ended up in a real mental state- went out drinking, got so bad I throw myself into the road, ended up in hospital with no-where to live.
That left me on the streets for a couple of days, staying at friends houses, I didn’t feel clean. Then the Council gave me a place- sheltered housing for the homeless, but it was infected with ants and all sorts of horrible things. I hated it so much I went back to my partner. The relationship got quite violent, so it happened- ended up homeless again. So when they gave me this diamond flat, there’s no looking back. I can’t be pushed into something I don’t want to do. I turn 50 next year, excited! Life begins at 50.
Yesterday at The Red Door in Bury I worked with artist Jeni McConnell making artist books and interviewing people for The Homeless Library. Jeni and I slowly progressing with the challenge of exactly how to integrate the interviews we have gathered into the artist books- it feels important we get this right- to do justice to the power of these stories and the trust people have shown us letting us into their lives.