Last year we had the amazing opportunity to work with the team from ‘Homeless Stories’, with funding from Lloyds Bank Foundation.
We worked with them to tell the stories of some of the people we support at the Archer Project though film. The four films created tell the story of Chris, Danielle and the Project. On Tuesday 16th February we will be launching the first of the films, telling Chris' powerful and emotional story.
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Tim Renshaw CEO of CAP said: “We cannot thank Homeless Stories and Lloyds Bank Foundation enough for giving us the opportunity to make these films. It is so much more meaningful to hear the stories in their own words from the people we help. We have been so impressed and humbled by the open and candid way Chris and Danielle have shared their experiences in order to help others and increase understanding of what homelessness really means. Also it reinforces the fact that we are talking about individuals and that every single person that comes our way deserves our support.”
The first film to be launched online on Tuesday 16 February tells the story of Chris in his own words. He talks about his abusive childhood and how this set him on the road of drug and alcohol addiction and following a time in the army and finding himself homeless of the horrific effects of ‘gas lighting’. He says: “when you are homeless you don’t exist - you are invisible.” When he was introduced to CAP he had lost all contact with family and friends. He said: “my assessor genuinely cared, and that was life changing to have someone to care for and trust me.”
Chris discovered a passion for writing and the second film, launched on the 23rd February, sees him share his poem 'Numbers' about male suicide. Chris says; “I pour all my pain and all my trauma into my writing.” In the last 5 years he has turned his life around - is clean, sober, has a home, married to the woman of ‘his dreams’ and has a 1 year old son.
The third film to be launched on the 2nd March tells Danielle's story in her own words. Danielle moved to Sheffield when she was 8 years old and it was then that everything changed. She says that being severely bullied at school “had a massive effect on my self-confidence and my understanding of my own self-worth.” At 15 and pregnant Danielle ran away from home and found herself homeless. For her, leaving school to meeting the Project “was a daze”. She talks about her experience as a woman being homeless, and how it can impact your mental health. She says “if you aren’t able to get a shower at certain times of the month you start to feel grubby” and think “I’m not worth anything”. But CAP helped her to find the support she needed. Now she volunteers and helps to run activities, helping others to gain skills and grow their confidence. She said “I thought I was useless, but where I first was to now is a massive difference.”
The final film in the series describes the work we do at the Archer Project as a whole. Told by Tim (our CEO) and Emily (a member of our fundraising and marketing team) they speak about how we support people from sleeping bag to employment, working with multiple agencies to provide the support that people may need.
Homeless Stories is a video project featuring first person accounts of men and women affected by homelessness. It is part of Stories for Change, a social enterprise with the aim of having a positive impact on multiple human issues globally. The project was conceived by Glenn Cooper, SVP of Digital Strategy & Audience Development at Universal Music and Dave Graham, Founder of Crossfire Agency, who decided to combine their experience of engaging audiences through emotive storytelling to take a different approach at raising awareness of the homelessness epidemic. They aim to work with a different charity every month to help raise awareness for their cause and provide a platform to help the charity share the stories worldwide throughout the online community.