"Through my experience of homelessness I quickly realised that life does not always give you what you want, but it does give you what you need to be the best version of yourself," says Amalia. One of a group of participants from hostels, shelters and temporary accommodation who was invited to creative workshops run by homelessness charity Accumulate this year, Amalia's work can be seen in a remarkable release, The Book of Homelessness.
An anthology of stories and drawings created by people affected by homelessness, laying bare their own lives and experiences, this is the first time that a book like this has been published. The compilation of drawings, texts, visuals and poems is a revealing insight into this marginalised group, making what may be the world's first graphic novel created by people who are homeless.
"Through the Accumulate workshops, they helped me to tap into an energy of creation and to use my talents to create pieces of art and poetry for the book," continues Amalia. "The sessions helped me to grow and transform and heal from domestic abuse, from being homeless and unstable. I have no destination, but I am blessed enough and happy to have the journey and to be on the path to my destiny and to achieve all my goals."
Speaking about the book launch, the founder of Accumulate Marice Cumber said: "This is a beautiful book that shows the complexities of homelessness, and what causes it, and the struggles that people have undertaken to succeed and flourish.
"The project has been a long time in the making, complicated further by Covid. We started creative workshops for our participants in January 2020, funded by our crowdfunding campaign to make the whole thing possible. I'm so proud of everyone who has taken part and let us into their lives in this visual way."
All profits from The Book of Homelessness are shared with its authors and Accumulate so it can continue to provide creative workshops for people who are homeless. Visit its website to purchase.