Wednesday, 2 September 2015

A diamond flat

artist book, made by participants at The Wellspring, with artists Jeni McConnell and Lois Blackburn

--> The following short but powerful account describes how very easily any of us could end up homeless:

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.

Ellie

artist book, made by participants at The Wellspring, with artists Jeni McConnell and Lois Blackburn

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.