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

As these.

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

Strong.

Stop this abusive repetitive song

And move one

Us women can do this because we

Are strong.

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

Homelessness

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.

Not me

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.

Yes...........

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.

I'm homeless

But why? How? How now?

Easy-peasy lemon-squeazy

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

But

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

Recovery, recovery
What a voyage of discovery
Paranoia, paranoia,
It's the whispers that annoy ya,
Reclusive, reclusive,
in itself can be abusive
Posessed or re-posessed.
Is it any wonder
We are distressed
Disclosure, disclosure
Does anyone really get to know ya.
Optimism, optimism
Just another scism,
Outrage or in a cage,
Just dancing on another stage
Reality, reality
Human brutality
difficulty or calamity,
As the university lecturer
Loses his faculty
Irritation, irritation
Outside pressure
Alianation!
Bowed heads
Water sheds
All life woes and fearful dreads.
Must think
Can't speak
Trying to plug an emotional leak.
Can't play
Won't pray
Just trying to live
Another day
Stand up fall down
How to shake off
This heavy frown
Re-start look smart,
A sticking plaster
On a broken heart.
Be real
Let yourself feel.
Don't know if I should
Don't blink
You might miss it
Don't say it!
Someones bound to diss it.
Rebound unwound
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
And again
When will I finish
When will it end?
Sat in the chair – empty bottle
Head in hands
Headphones in
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".