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Who Are The Real Homeless?



Who Are The Real Homeless from Screen Education Edinburgh on Vimeo.


This unique short film was made with lottery funding secured by charity Ypeople. They involved SEE (Screen Education Edinburgh) to work  with  residents of their supported accommodation service in North Edinburgh to make a film. 

Last year, 4251 people had to turn to city of Edinburgh council’s homeless service for help  Who R the real homeless?  is the story of just four of these thousands.. 

Kris, Jacqui, Bobby and Gordon, each tells his or her own unique story, of how they became homeless and about their experiences, good and bad,  of homeless services and public attitudes. Their stories reflect the sobering truth that homelessness can happen to all sorts of people, and for a range of reasons.

· Take Gordon whose 20 years of settled family life ended as a result of relationship breakdown precipitated by job loss,
· or Kris, who lost his job and accommodation at the same time as his relationship
· or Bobby, whose guitar playing provides the musical soundtrack for the film, who was too ashamed of his alcohol and drug problems to seek help back in his home town from family or friends
· or Jacqui, fleeing domestic violence and continued harassment, who lost the only settled home she had

The film shows that homelessness can in truth happen to almost anyone.

Kris, Bobby, Jacqui and Gordon also tell their experiences of the homeless services which while providing refuge from the streets, create another set of problems – in keeping relationships with children and family or friends, of stigma, and in job hunting when you don’t know when you will get a settled address again. These show the need for more prevention, for more individual and holistic responses to people at the point of contact, for more imaginative solutions, and for greater public understanding of their situation.   


Diane, 14, was referred to the Calm Project 14 years old by Social Work Services due to concerns about her personal safety and welfare. Diane was repeatedly absconding from home and placing herself at risk. She was self-harming, drinking alcohol regularly and had begun experimenting with drugs. Her self-worth and self-esteem was low and she stated that there wasn't a single adult in her life whom she trusted.

Diane was matched with a Mentor who met with her on a weekly basis and a positive relationship began to form.  After a while, Diane declared to her Social Worker that her Mentor was the “only person she trusted in her life” at that stage.  She began to open up more and more about her problems to her Mentor and she started engaging in issue-based sessions and self-help programmes around topics such as personal safety, drugs and alcohol, self-harm and risk taking behaviour.

It wasn’t long before significant improvements began to emerge. Diane stopped absconding and placing herself at risk, returned to school on a full time basis and her relationship with her family improved.
Eventually Diane moved on from the Calm Project and she wrote this in her evaluation feedback:

"I don’t know where I would be without Calm. Dead probably. I was out of control and was heading for bad things. No-one believed in me, everybody just thought I was bad news. But my head was just so messed up. My Mentor understood me and seen the good in me and helped me get away from all the bad things I was doing. Thank you”