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Irish singer’s poem brings awareness to homelessness


Imelda May, Irish singer-songwriter, has teamed up with Crisis, a charity for homeless people, to produce a powerful video set to her poem ‘Home’, in partnership with Musicians Against Homelessness, a charity campaign bringing awareness to homelessness. The singer-songwriter is famed for her prowess as a wordsmith and ‘Home’ sees her dissect her own experiences with sincerity being set to visuals representing the people Crisis supports every day to rebuild their lives and leave homelessness behind for good. Jon Sparkes, chief executive officer of Crisis, says this includes helping people find a home to settle in, acquire new skills, find a job and helping with health and wellbeing and the video deals with the theme of love relating it to the idea that without a home it is difficult to feel safe and secure. He says it supports their new ‘Home For All’ campaign that aims to ensure everyone who has been temporarily housed during the coronavirus outbreak has a secure and permanent home and looks to protect people made newly homeless due to the pandemic.

“Imelda performed the poem as part of the ‘Home For All’ Live event by Crisis on Facebook on 29 July which brought the campaign to life through songs, poems and stories of how people experiencing homelessness continue to be supported through the pandemic. She was inspired to work with Crisis after witnessing much homelessness in her hometown of Dublin and in the UK where she now lives,” says Sparkes.

According to the CEO, the video shows individuals in various stages on their journey and illustrates the value of having a home with some of the stories of people that May met having moved her deeply, especially women who have fled their homes due to domestic violence and other issues. He says she has always tried to engage with people forced to live on the street, has helped at Crisis Christmas centres where she sang with guests and encourages her daughter to engage with the homeless.

“Having a safe place to live is an essential human need and in times like these it couldn’t be more important. May’s beautiful poem illustrates this perfectly and we are so grateful to her for working with us to help end homelessness for good. Although it has been a difficult time for everyone, we have been truly heartened by the generosity of people like her who want to contribute to ensure people remain safe beyond the pandemic,” says Sparkes.

May says having a home provides a safety that most of us take for granted and especially since lockdown, she realises that it’s what we need to survive. She says it allows us to work, play, cook, feed our families, entertain, relax and so much more, and it is hard to imagine not having the basic protection of four walls and a roof. “I have often been so broke that I have struggled to pay my rent and there was a real fear I might not be able to make ends meet, but I have been fortunate enough that I have never ended up without a home. It’s time we all come together and support those who are struggling, especially at this difficult time,” she says.

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