Leicester women invited to share their experiences of homelessness for a creative art project


Women in Leicester and surrounding areas who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness are being asked to share their stories for a new creative project set up to highlight the problem.

Part of a collaboration between De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), local charities the Leicester Homelessness Charter and ‘In Her Strength’ led by Vicky Moran, the project aims to bring together a group of women as they develop each an autobiographical monologue detailing their personal experience.

In Her Strength, a long-term theater project providing creative opportunities for women with experience of homelessness to work and challenge stereotypes, will hold weekly online workshops before recording the monologues which will then be shared online.

“Representations of homelessness often focus on sleeping rough, but there are many forms of homelessness, such as living in a hostel or temporary accommodation, sleeping in vehicles or sheds, or surfing the sofa at a friend’s or relative’s house – and it is often these more hidden forms of homelessness that affect women,” said Professor Jo Richardson, Professor of Housing and Social Inclusion, Co-Chair of DMU Women and Chair of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Jo Richardson-1493
Professor Jo Richardson

“This project aims to amplify the voices of women with experience of homelessness in our city and inform the public understanding of homelessness.”

In 2021, around 227,000 people were estimated to be experiencing the worst forms of homelessness in England, Scotland and Wales.

“We believe everyone should have the opportunity to share their experience,” said Claire Gilbert, the project’s producer. “In Her Strength presents an opportunity for women to be part of a community that not only understands themselves, but champions them, long after any specific program has ended.

“Being part of In Her Strength in 2022 is a fantastic opportunity to empower and celebrate more women, especially in Leicester.”

‘We hope to connect with women in Leicester who have real lived experiences to share,’ Prof Richardson added. “We want to give them a voice and for them to be seen and heard.”

The project, funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund, is open to anyone based in or around Leicester who identifies as female, has experience of homelessness under one of its multiple forms and would be comfortable sharing his story.

The people chosen must be available from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. every Monday from 7and from March 11 to 11and April, to attend the weekly one-hour online workshops, as well as in person on Thursday 5and and Friday 6and May for recording their monologue. Participants will receive £20 for each session they join.

To apply, women are invited to submit a short written essay on any topic they like, along with a line about their experience or risk of homelessness, to [email protected] before 20 hours on Tuesday, February 22. (Any form of written art is welcome, for example, it could be a monologue, poem, short story or screenplay). Entrants will be notified if they have been selected by Thursday 24 February.

As the project develops, the team will release audio and video storytelling performances and liaise with local theater partners to develop a production of live performances to engage the people of Leicester in conversation. on homelessness.

In his writing

Previous examples of work created by In Her Strength can be found on the website here. For more information or to ask questions, please email [email protected]

Posted on Friday February 4th, 2022

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