Work on the first-ever graphic novel created by homeless people is underway

Accumulate’s project, which will see homeless people tell their stories in the visual format for the first time, smashed its £17,800 fundraising goal in December

Classes have kicked off to create the first-ever graphic novel created entirely by homeless people – after Accumulate smashed their £17,800 funding goal to make the project a reality.

The homelessness charity held their first workshop on Tuesday as work began on The Book of Homelessness, which is pencilled in for an initial 500-copy print run to be released in June.

In the classes, the young homeless people who work with Accumulate create drawings, texts, visuals and poems to build the book and tell their stories – a first for the genre.

The pioneering project is only possible following a smash-hit online crowdfunding campaign which raised £17,912.

That will go towards keeping Accumulate’s workshops running while profits from sales of the book will be shared between the authors.

DID YOU KNOW…

There are currently around 1,450 Big Issue sellers working hard on the streets each week.

The charity’s founder and director Marice Cumber said: “Working on Accumulate you realise that you’ve got people who’ve got an extensive range of stories, of life experiences and of knowledge that actually nobody bothers to listen to.

“So what we’re going to do at Accumulate, we are going to create the first-ever graphic novel created by people affected by homelessness about their own stories – it’s going to be their book with their stories which they have created.”

The Big Issue also turned to graphic novels last year to harness the medium’s power to tell homeless people’s stories.

Former Glasgow vendor Rae McKinley’s personal account of her time on the streets and selling the magazine was turned into a mini-graphic novel by Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin and Giovanni Rigano.