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  • Clarissa Ward

HOMELESSNESS

'homelessness is the condition of people without a permanent dwelling, such as a house or apartment. people who are homeless are most often unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe, secure and adequate housing'


i still consider the concept of being homeless a strange one, are you homeless if you live in a van? or on a boat? unfortunately the turn of events in my life at the start of 2018 meant that i was left 'homeless' after being kicked out of our old shared house. for the last three weeks i've considered myself homeless and have been using my van as my main sleeping and creating space, nipping into friends houses for warmth, company and running water (honestly a novelty when you live like this). my awareness of what it's like to be really homeless has changed dramatically over this time, and whilst i'm not sleeping on the streets i have a much higher understanding of what it's like for the people that do.


driving into what was once your 'hometown' and realise you don't actually have anywhere to go is very strange. the places i used to consider safe and comforting i am now scared of, the harsh reality and judgement of people when you don't have an actual house is harrowing. can you believe that since i moved into my van on december 31st people have actually been complaining to the council about 'that girl with the yellow van' because they believe my presence is 'unsuitable for the area'. the mental impact this has had is one i don't think i've even fully grasped yet. there is still a huge huge gap which is only being widened between those who live a 'normal' life and those who choose to live outside.


whilst i am stubborn enough to not care what these people think of me in particular, what hurts and annoys me is that people are so narrowminded that they can't let people just get on with what they want to get on with.



ABOVE : me and my van photographed by @pippajonesphotography , maenporth february 2018 for her final project at falmouth university on 'van dwellers'

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