Falling through the cracks and finding yourself on the streets may seem an unthinkable scenario for most of us, yet the reality remains cruel for those it happens to. A staggering number of young people live on the streets of our affluent city.
These are images familiar to every Londoner who has walked through town late at night, yet the conversation many will have is loaded with received wisdoms that are not always sympathetic. And how often are we willing to explore the tenuousness of our security and consider how it could break? All it takes is a wobble when life throws its worst at you. And it happens to young people all the time.
Aiming to challenge the stereotypes of living on the streets, this punchy and poetic short film gives a voice to five young people who have been helped by London’s Centrepoint charity and are now proving they are Homeless Not Useless. They don’t want pity, they just want you to watch and listen and to get to know them.
They have worked with production company Fully Focused and director Teddy Nygh to create a film that shows there are multiple reasons for people to find themselves without a home.
The film was commissioned by the Centrepoint Parliament to highlight the dangers and issues facing young people who do not have the advantage of family and community support.
Natasha, 24, who helped write and produce the film suffered a family breakdown and left home. She says: “I got involved in Homeless Not Useless because I like to write — spoken word, prose, everything. I wanted to tell a realistic story of youth homelessness”. She has since turned her life around by taking leadership courses with Centrepoint and was selected to be a player for the Homeless FA’s Team England.
Centrepoint is the leading charity for homeless young people aged 16-25. It was founded in 1969 and has helped more than 111,000 homeless young people over the last 45 years.
To watch more short films about the capital, check out our London Shorts section.