Manchester citizens, Piccadilly approach 2015
The arthur+martha project The Homeless Library is the first ever attempt to write a history of homelessness in Britain. It includes not only individual testimonies, but also poetry and art, giving it a shape like no other.
As well as interviewing the many homeless people who have been kind enough to talk to us, we have spoken to staff in organisations that work with homeless people. Here, advice worker Joe Barson from The Booth Centre tries to define the word "homelessness". It's a definition that is crucial right now in Manchester since the recent homeless protests. If that H-word is applied to you, it might get you fined or imprisoned...
You can then subdivide those categories down into two groups if you like. Some people lose their homes because of circumstances and some because there's no one willing to accommodate them. Seriously mentally ill people, drug users, people with chaotic lives. But homelessness has not always existed in this way. There's always people who don't reach society's norm. In different times they've been called different things.
(Second half of this interview to follow shortly)