About Voices

In the 'Voices' section, individuals talk about their own experience,  of homelessness, of services, or of doing training or research.

All voices are equal here.

Most of these brief videos are excerpts from longer accounts, and many are linked to other articles in the Library area, or other websites. Past videos are available for members, in the library.

If you have a story to tell, personal opinion, views you would like to share, email us with your idea, and we will take it from there.

Voices Intro

about this video
Robin Johnson again introduces the site and welcomes new members.

Coming soon: a welcome message, and an explanation of the Voices section.

Drew Van Doorn

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Drew VanDoorn of hact (the housing associations charitable trust) discusses some of the reasons that homelessness resettlement services themselves have been slow to recognise, describe and take credit for the often very highly skilled work they may do; and the need to go beyond this, to meet the kind of needs that services are now expected to meet.

Gerry’s story

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Gerry describes her own journey from homelessness and alcoholism, to her work now in Groundswell’s Health Peer Advocacy programme.
You can read more of Gerry’s own story, and the award-winning work of Groundswell, via their own website.

Mick Kain

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Mick Kain talks on his experience of providing training with homelessness service staff.
Here he looks at the emotional contagion of failure, frustration, fears of inadequacy, and blame, when services aren’t able to reflective and recognise the issues.

Paul Ashton

about this video
Paul Ashton reminisces on good places to sleep in Manchester’s Chinatown, with a wry observation on the invisibility of homelessness.
You can read more on Paul’s own journey, plus an account of his co-working with a psychotherapist to runs groups in an inner city “wet” hostel, both in the Members’ Library; and follow his progress now through his own blog.


about this video
Stewart describes the work of a volunteer with the Street Buddies, in London’s Westminster; and the pleasure of “giving something back”.
NB: For more on the Street Buddies approach, you might want to also see the co-ordinator, Louise Simonsen’s brief account of the care they need to take not to jeopardise these delicate peer-to-peer contacts, when working to engage the most entrenched rough sleepers.

Erin Pizzey

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Erin Pizzey was the founder of the first ever women’s refuge, in 1970s London, and the prime mover behind what became a movement.
Here she describes how they took to squatting empty properties, to get move on accommodation for a fast growing community of women with no statutory rights to re-housing; a Xmas gathering with the girls (sic) from the Bunny Club; and something of her critique of more conventional approaches.
You will find her account of this extra-ordinary time in the Members’ Library.

San Francisco Times

about this video
This video by two reporters on the San Francisco Times uses a combination of personal narrative with new mapping and data tracking software, to describe the consequences of the break up of a tent city in that city. It demonstrates the power of new research methods – new software plus a human geography perspective – to show graphically (in both sense of the word) what a non-solution looks – and feels – like.
For a point of comparison, see our interview with Brendan Plante on his community outreach approach; and the video on Camp Take Notice, on the remarkable strengths such camps may bring out.