People often find their voice through creative projects. As well as arts and crafts, creative writing provides a way to express ideas and thoughts about being homeless and the recovery journey. Some of our clients have shared their work, below.
Homeless - Roofless - Never Ruthless - Kim
Who wants to wake up lonely
Who wants to wake up meek and lonely
Who wants to wake up
Dying slowly in the cold.
Who wants to wake up in a cardboard box
Who wants to survive
When they see other people thrive
But after all, they're still alive.
Who needs to beg or steal
To buy themselves a decent meal.
Who needs help?
But none is 'given'
But the politicians still forgiven
And so the cost of living's risen
'Til we're not allowed a home.
No place for travellers
And people like these
People treating people
Like some contagious disease
How people can live
Without a conscience
In times as stark
Sanctity - Kim
Sometimes my only saving grace
Is my solitude.
My time, my space!
To look so deep inside my face
To contemplate my own insecurities
The Wills, the won'ts
The do's, the don'ts,
The depth of thought that no one sees.
The external appearance that everything is fine.
Whoever bothers to look
Any further than the face
We hide behind.
Reflection - Tracey
Shopkeepers and drug dealers take us for mugs
Selling drink, solvents and class A drugs
We should have more value for our life
These things cause nothing but trouble and strife
We should accept the help we need
And advice we're offered we should heed
There is a life for us out there
And there are people who want to help and care
Read Tracey's story here
ABUSER - Sarah
The man you thought you always had
But really makes you sad
How do you deal with feelings
That aren't real when they've covered
Your heart with hurt
And control that feels unreal
How do you remove an abuser's seal?
You think they love you
And will always be there
But do they really care
Or is it just control that makes
You stay there?
Mind games are so unfair
Could run away but would you dare?
Scariest thing is loneliness
Being on your own, no ruler, no king
Like a bird with a broken wing
Can you really do this things on your own
Or is it easier staying with the abuser
That keeps you at home
And stops you feeling alone?
You feel like you're going mad
Don't know what's the real deal or
How to feel
It's my fault, it's me
Is how you feel usually
But it's not.
Somewhere, somehow you as an
Individual got forgotten
To build back that self confidence
Takes a lot
But you should give it a shot
And be thankful for what you've got
And that's a lot.
‘Cos you know why you made it
Through ‘cos you're worth it you're
Stop this abusive repetitive song
And move one
Us women can do this because we
You will never forget
That King you met
But you can get your life back on
Track and feel you got you back.
Long hard road ahead
But you got this far, you're alive
And not dead.
Leave the unhappiness in bed
‘Cos like I said
You forgot you
Show your ex-King what you can do!
Homelessness - Mark
Conjures imaginary pictures
String belted alcoholics on the steps of busy streets
Romanian beggars with a clutch of lavender posies
Or seeming losers sleeping on cardboard in shop fronts of Mayfair's SW1.
Who cares anyway?
That lot can't be bothered with the responsibilities of life.
Job, mortgage, bills, and two holidays a year and jumpers at Christmas.
That's me as I put the key
Into the lock of my centrally heated flat on Winter nights.
It's always the "OTHER" people homelessness happens to.
Then the glorious day arrives and you realise that you, I, us them, me, oh my god ME!
I have become one of the "OTHERS"
The bottom is falling out and it just keeps falling.
The flat, job, wife, friends, family they've all deserted you.
But why? How? How now?
Alcohol addiction could have thrown you on the dump
Mental health issues could have belched you out
And relationship disintegration could have broken your resolve and dried your heart to a desert from the salt of your tears
From the ether
Comes St Mungo, bounding down the Broadway
The helpful friend from the 11th century who lends his name to the organisation that offers you a temporary home.
A space to live while you attempt to pick up the pieces of glass from the window you smashed that you used to live your comfortable life behind.
Alone, but with help at hand sometimes even just downstairs
You can recover.
I accept my vulnerability
And when the ocean of tears has let fall on my bedroom floor
St Mungo comes carried by angels to place an arm around my mending heart.
With time, and time and more time
The sun shines again
And the bud of hope that was always there begins to flower
Life can never be the same
For change is the price you pay for recovery.
Painful, visceral frightening, hilarious sometimes fun
But certainly never boring
Life welcomes you back
But now you know
Knowing how to avoid the bad bits. You have developed insight and choice.
And in time and time it's time to leave your temporary home and continue the path,
Alone perhaps but strong and able to cope.
St Mungo bids you farewell and carries your bags to the door.
"Goodbye my friend. I'll always be here. But live your life and be true to you .And best of all attempt everyday with the things you've learned, not to come back ....."
Thanks St Mungos broadway .
Recovery - Kim
What a voyage of discovery
It's the whispers that annoy ya,
in itself can be abusive
Posessed or re-posessed.
Is it any wonder
We are distressed
Does anyone really get to know ya.
Just another scism,
Outrage or in a cage,
Just dancing on another stage
difficulty or calamity,
As the university lecturer
Loses his faculty
All life woes and fearful dreads.
Trying to plug an emotional leak.
Just trying to live
Stand up fall down
How to shake off
This heavy frown
Re-start look smart,
A sticking plaster
On a broken heart.
Let yourself feel.
Don't know if I should
You might miss it
Don't say it!
Someones bound to diss it.
Sadness doesn't make a sound.
If it ain't broken don't don't try to fix it.
If life was a piece of music
we could easily re-mix it!
Sad when we become just another statistic.
When & Why? by Samantha C
Hope and Faith
Loss of grace
These are trials
We have to face
Voices in my head
Filling me with dread
Telling me I’m crap
And that I should be dead
Dunno how to get away
To keep those voices far away
This time it feels worse than before
I really wish I knew the score
Cos I can’t take it anymore
Music helps to fill my head
But still they push through
Till the batteries dead
Over and Over again
When will I finish
When will it end?
Sat in the chair – empty bottle
Head in hands
Stand up, throw headphones on table
Chuck bottle in bin
And walk out
Walkabout in London by Ronald
Imagining my mission on the street
I had yet to be downtrodden by other feet
Money was already getting scarce,
Could I find my way out of this place?
So, despite the hazards of the day,
Looking for signs may not prove the way
Also, thinking about starting again,
Keeping an even keel was difficult to maintain
Alone, languishing in parks and gardens,
Relying on others, not without pardons.
Back Home lambs were appearing in the fields,
Tramps went out with Green Shields,
East 17 restored my faith in human beings,
When two worlds collide, it can be demeaning,
Crossing over the Thames, one evening,
My mother's words came back to me in sensing.
One morning, I sheltered from the rain,
Meanwhile I was thinking about setting off again
In my quest to see Whitehall,
Distance was difficult to unravel before nightfall
All roads leading to Baker Street,
The people there could help to make your life complete!
Westminster and its entirety will be here forever,
It is up to us to see that the link doesn't sever.
My Path to the Open Door by Esther
....When I lost my flat, I was left lying on my back, barely breathing, the pain intense and the dream of going all the way crushed. Much like an injured sportsman, it wasn't only for my sake I wished things had been different. In my new acquired state of homelessness, I realised I would require a closer set of shoulders to lean on: friends, clinicians, social workers and the government's ever tightening purse to get me back on my feet. For the first four months of the next two years, I worked through an agency while renting a room here and there in search of a cheaper one. The pay was so bad; I sometimes went without food in order to afford rent and fare to work.
The search for convenient accommodation led me to move across seven different boroughs within twenty-four months. During this time, I lived in eleven different addresses renting, borrowing, begging, and finally, in irrepressible agony, screaming for help. In some of these places (including rented) I slept on dining chairs, on mattress-less floors, on safari beds and once, on a corridor without any beddings. In one, the walls were black with damp and from Christmas Eve to second day of the New Year, I was alone in a house with no heating through the "festive season"...
Soon after the second empty Christmas, I voiced my desire to leave this world when I kept a hospital appointment. A few days later I was led back to the same Local Authority from where I first started my homeless journey. I masked the realisation that they could see my desperation. Since day one of becoming homeless the dire situation had not changed although I approached them with the understanding that it was nobody's responsibility to house me nor a right I could fist-fully claim. And anyway, in their books, I did not fit in the priority criteria even though I was actually homeless.
I cannot count the times I cried in these buildings' toilets, out on the streets, even on public transport after yet another definite NO was nicely thrown in my face. Coming from different directions, it became one NO too many for one soul to take. I concluded that hopelessness does not actually come out of lack of anything apart from the darkness one faces in a solitary channel. I had tired of trying to find the way out and wondered if I had exhausted the "Helping Shoulders".