Dave talks with Pip Harry author of Because of you joins Dave to talk about her book as National Homelessweek wraps up.
Because of You tells the story of two young women: Tiny is an eighteen-year-old girl living on the streets in Sydney, running from her small-town past. At Hope Lane, a temporary homeless shelter, she meets Nola, a high school student on volunteer placement. Both girls share their love of words through the Hope Lane writing group. Can they share their secrets, too? Told through the eyes of both Tiny and Nola as they negotiate their way through homelessness, shifting friendships, betrayals, addiction and a little bit of romance, Because of You explores the vastly different coming-of-age stories of two girls who are learning to find their individual strengths.
Pip was inspired to write Because of You after spending several years volunteering in a homeless shelter in Sydney’s Darlinghurst. Pip worked with a creative writing group, Word Association, who visited a shelter for a few hours each week to lead writing exercises with homeless and marginalised people.
‘During my time supporting creative writing sessions in the homeless community it was lovely to see the difference those few hours made to the participants’ confidence, sense of self-worth and purpose. Like many people, I had little understanding of what it means to be homeless in Australia, and how tough daily life is when you’re struggling to get a foothold back into employment or stable housing. During my time with the writing group, it struck me how many homeless people feel invisible and unheard. It’s so important and potentially life-changing if we take the time to sit down and listen to their individual stories,’ says Pip.