In 2009 St Mungo's marked its 40th anniversary, and with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund was able to embark on a groundbreaking project to document the experiences and stories of people marginalised in society - voices which are otherwise not heard.
Six interviewers, themselves St Mungo's clients, were trained in oral history interviewing. Over many months they recorded 26 men and 15 women sharing their stories. Interviewees aged between 23 and 71 came forward, drawn from ten of St Mungo's housing projects across seven London boroughs.
The oral history project will have a permanent home in LSE Archives as a resource for current and future students. LSE Archives are a rich, remarkable source of knowledge about poverty and society, in London and beyond.
My main thanks are to Sarah, Len, Neil, Sam, Freddie and Tara for their excellent work as interviewers, and to each of the interviewees for sharing their lives: Eton, Jeff, Ronald, Paul, Nick, Roy, Sharon, John, Tracy, Joanne, Joe, Paul, Lee, Michael, Maria, Kimberley, Michael, Jason, Collette, Tony, Mark, Karl, Linda, John, Billie, John, Raymond, Stuart, David, Ken, Casey, Mark, Jane, Esther, Karen, Elroy, Angela, Geraldine, James, Lisa and Paul.
Thanks also to Charles Fraser, former St Mungo's Chief Executive, for sharing his experiences of working with homeless people over 30 years.
Mark Hutin, Oral History Project co-ordinator
Photos: Neil Allan, Deborah Kershaw
If you have enjoyed the oral history project, you may be interested in hearing more about St Mungo's Broadway, our work and some more real life client stories