London's Museum Of Homelessness Finds A Home

Last Updated 22 April 2024

London's Museum Of Homelessness Finds A Home
A handsome red brick villa
The new museum is inside an old gatekeeper's lodge. © Matt Turtle

The Museum of Homelessness now has a home.

London has actually had a Museum of Homelessness for almost a decade. Until now, it's been operating as a peripatetic setup — exhibitions springing up in spots like the tunnels beneath Waterloo station, Tate Modern and even Manchester Art Gallery. As of 24 May 2024, though — thanks to a 10-year lease — the Museum of Homelessness will open its doors at Finsbury Park's Manor House Lodge — an old gatekeeper's cottage.

A woman, speaking, mid performance in the dark
The Museum of Homelessness has been putting on immersive events since 2015. Image: Anthony-Luvera

The opening gambit is another chance to experience How to Survive the Apocalypse — which won Temporary Exhibition of the Year in 2022. The 90-minute immersive show is put together by people with first-hand experiences of homelessness, and will reframe the myths and stereotypes of homelessness by inviting us to listen to, and learn from, people with the skills and aptitude to deal with the collapses we're seeing all around us.

Though the museum now has a bricks and mortar site, the avant garde approach continues, the museum saying that it aims to "smash the traditional model of glass cases and guarded access".

Other special events planned for the new museum space include Deep Dive: a Sunday politics and social affairs show hosted by museum co-directors Matt and Jess Turtle; and Knowledge is Survival, a series of workshops gathering important voices in homelessness organising, mental health campaigning and creativity.

Museum of Homelessness team outside what will be their new bricks and mortar museum in Finsbury Park.
The museum's interior and garden have been designed from scratch by people with experience of homelessness. Image: Matt Turtle

There's also a new installation — 'wallriot' by gobscure — and a bespoke room for the UK’s only dedicated homelessness archive. Throughout the week the museum will continue to provide community focused art, gardening, community meals, sexual health drop-ins, legal rights clinics, grief spaces, trauma informed coaching, recovery groups, and more. One in 50 Londoners are now homeless.

Museum of Homelessness, Manor House Lodge, Finsbury Park. The museum is generally only open Fridays and Saturdays, for How to Survive the Apocalypse — plus other days for special events. It's free-£10 to experience the exhibition, but you'll need to book a slot. It runs from 24 May-November 2024.