Why are the stories of homeless people, and the entire history of British homelessness, missing from our book shelves? What impact would making such a history have on homeless people? How does making art and poetry impact on the lives of homeless people? The Homeless Library is a project that sets out to try and answer some of these questions. It's history told by homeless people themselves, for all of us.
"It's been one of the most interesting things Ive ever done, it's my favourite two hours of the week." Tim
"It's put me back on the ladder to life." Danny
"(homeless people) have been able to explore new issues, enabled to be creative, have a distraction from their everyday life on the street... they feel they have a voice and been able to tell their own stories and learn about other people's stories. For people who have been so excluded in society and so often ignored you just can't quantify how important that is." Amanda Croome, CEO, The Booth Centre.
Film maker John Felix spent a day with us during a Homeless Library session in the Booth Centre; he made the mini-documentary shared here, a little film full of gentle power. Perhaps the ladder to life is finding out how to make meaning of life.
Thank you again to all of those who took part, there would be no history without your words.
An exhibition of the work will be on display in The Houses of Commons from the 24th to 27th May and then go on to public exhibition at the Southbank Festival of Love, 9 July-18 September and will tour venues in NW England.
The Homeless Library is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.