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A graphic novel written by young homeless people is helping change lives


The homeless book has proven to be a surprising success with readers and is helping some young people move forward in their lives.

The Accumulated art school for the homeless was established in London five years ago by Marice Cumber to help homeless youth advance their lives through creative projects.

The school offers courses in graphic design, illustration, fashion, photography, sculpture and other subjects, helping participants to develop skills and access education, employment or training. In November 2020, Accumulate published what the team believes is the world’s first graphic novel made by people affected by homelessness.

The Book of Homelessness is an anthology of drawings and writing that provides its creators with a platform to explain their experiences from their perspective.

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“The stories in the book are personal, emotional, raw and honest. They are stories of pain, of abuse, of dysfunction, of families, of war, of rejection, of misplaced love, of overcoming difficulties and of struggle and success, ”said Cumber.

Now, enough money has been raised from the sales to fund a scholarship for an Accumulate participant. They will take a place in the Access to HE course in design and digital media at Ravensbourne University London.

“This is something very special,” Cumber told Positive News. “It means that the creativity of a group of people affected by homelessness will help another person who is homeless to change their life through creative education.”

Sales have exceeded expectations and a reprint was necessary to meet demand. The Homeless Book has been purchased by people around the world, as well as by libraries in universities and cities.

Participants from shelters, hostels and temporary accommodation were invited to a series of creative workshops run by Accumulate. The writing, drawing and illustration classes were held at a gallery in Shoreditch, east London.

Amalia, who participated, said: “The workshops helped me grow, transform and heal myself from domestic violence, from being homeless and unstable.”

All proceeds from book sales are shared with its authors and Accumulate, so you can continue to provide creative workshops. The books cost £ 30 and can be purchased here.



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