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Experience the choices of homelessness in The Big Issue’s interactive fiction

Everyone who experiences homelessness has a unique story. What’s yours?

For thousands of people in the UK without a warm, safe and secure home this Christmas, there is a story of how they fell into homelessness that is unique to them. 

Unforeseen circumstances and an absent support network are the most common combination. For households who are just about managing, bad luck or bad advice can mean losing their home. Trapped by poverty, marginalised by mental health or other issues, people slip through the ever-widening cracks in the system.The Big Issue exists to gie a hand up to those who fall into this position by selling the magazine and raise awareness at the same time.

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While we could not hope to illustrate every unique path into homelessness, we wanted to show some of the common routes that leave people without a home. This choose your own adventure-style story gives you a rare chance to walk these paths. It will take you through the trials and tribulations and the agonising choices people face in the UK every day and offer a rare insight into the realities of homelessness in 2020.

Mitchel Ceney and Ashley Barnes have both experienced homelessness and they drew the illustrations. Both contributed to The Book of Homelessness, a graphic novel from homeless arts charity Accumulate,and we are delighted they collaborated with us on this project.

Of course, it’s impossible to convey the complexity of any individual’s life or step into another’s shoes entirely. But this narrative experience illustrates the choices people face, the experiences they have lived through and just how easy it is for somebody to fall into homelessness.

Try Pick Your Path in the player below. Click on the coloured text to advance your story and click the button on the bottom right of the box to open full screen mode. You can also experience an extended edition of Pick Your Path at itch.io here.

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Over the last 30 years, your contributions have been vital in providing opportunities for those facing poverty by giving them a hand up, not a hand out. Support us to help thousands more. Buy a copy from your local vendor, donate or subscribe online today.

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