Homeless by Matt

Homeless

What does homelessness look like to you?…
A guy on the park bench with a bag full of glue?
Or the man sat in the subway with nothing to do?
What does homelessness look like to you?

How homeless do you think you are?
Sure you’ve got a nice house and a job and a car
But you really don’t know quite how fragile they are
How homeless do you think you are?

Six months ago I had it all
Two kids and a girlfriend, pictures on the wall
And to everyone looking in I had it all
Six months ago I did have it all

But then one day everything broke
Arguing over nothing, the monster awoke
Went from being ‘me with a house’ to ‘that homeless bloke”
Cause one day everything broke

And so then I’m out on the street
Two quid in my pocket and nothing to eat
Relying on others for somewhere to sleep
It’s that or I’m out on the street

So what I am trying to say?
You never quite know how your life’s going to sway
We’re all so naïve thinking life’s all ok
You don’t know how life’s going to sway

If you’ve suffered with your mental health
You’ll know it’s intrinsically tied to the state of your wealth
And it’s one sneaky fucker, not overt, it’s stealth,
When you suffer with bad mental health

Let’s say you break up, and like that’s not bad enough
Your friends can’t help you and then you’re out sleeping rough
And the cold, and the pity and shame is so tough
When you’re out on the street sleeping rough

You try your best to keep your job
But thinking of life makes you act like a slob
And sooner or later you give it some gob
And your boss lets you go from that job

No job, and no house – but hey, you’ve got your car
But it don’t run on nothing – fresh air won’t get you far
The car loan payments get missed and you’re under the stars
Now no job and no house and the bank took your car.

Two months of no money, no food and no rent
And if your friends can’t help you, your money’s all spent
Then you’ll find yourself on the same slippery descent
No money, no food and no rent

How homeless do you think you are?
Take a look in the mirror, don’t have to look far
Look around at your house and your job and your car
How homeless do you think you are?

Next time you see someone homeless – don’t just pass by
For “There but for the good grace of God go I”
And even though the thought of this might just be risible
They are still a human, not fucking invisible

So where would you go if your life’s in a state?
To the angels in blue, if you’re in Harrogate
With warm beds and support they put food on your plate
If you’re homeless & your life’s in a state

You’ll never quite know the good work they do
With smiles and compassion & hoodies of blue
And not one person will they ever reject
The angels at the Harrogate Homeless Project.

Matt 2017

Matt was a resident at Harrogate Homeless Project, and has recently moved into more independent living. This poem is about his own experiences.

Thank you to Charlotte from HHP for sending this to us, and Matt for giving us permission to publish it on the blog.

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Homeless by Matt

Haunt Launch Photos, Exhibition at Bean and Bud and Harrogate Advertiser Article

On Tuesday 27th October we held the launch for the Haunt anthology at the Royal Pump Room Museum in Harrogate. With a large audience in attendance Steve introduced the project, talking about the background to the idea. This was followed by readings of the work in the anthology from Steve, Becky, Jem Henderson, Richard Harries and Nick Stirk.

Launch 4 Launch 3 Launch 2 Launch 1 Launch 8 Launch 7 Launch 6 Launch 5

(Photos courtesy of Emma MacEwan)

We’re very grateful for the support from Harrogate Museums that has seen work from Haunt included in the Harrogate Stories exhibition, and enabled us to launch the anthology in a building so synonymous with Harrogate’s spatown.

During the performance we also showcased the photographs taken by Paul Floyd Blake for Haunt. These played behind the writers while they read, creating powerful juxtapositions with the poems and prose.

Paul Floyd Blake’s Haunt photos are currently on show at Bean and Bud in Harrogate.

The anthology is currently available to buy, in person, for £5 from;

Bean and Bud

Royal Pump Room Museum

Mercer Art Gallery

Waterstones Harrogate

This week the Harrogate Advertiser ran a great article about the project.

advertiser article

The next event is on the 11th November in York. Steve and Becky will be performing work from Haunt at Speaker’s Corner in York, the regular spoken word night at The Golden Ball. Entry is £1, with open mic slots available.

Haunt Launch Photos, Exhibition at Bean and Bud and Harrogate Advertiser Article

Launch of Haunt anthology and future workshops

On the 27th October we will be launching the Haunt anthology at the Royal Pump Room Museum. There will be an opportunity to hear work from the project read by participants, contributors as well as Steve Toase and Becky Cherriman. There will also be a chance to find out more about Haunt and the inspiration behind the project. Map.

We will also be running two new workshops on the 24th November and 1st December. These are open to writers and those who would like to write who are experiencing, or have experienced, homelessness or vulnerable housing in Harrogate.

Please click on the images below for more information about both the anthology launch and workshops.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Haunt flyer 1

Haunt flyer 2

Launch of Haunt anthology and future workshops