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Invisible: first-hand experience of life as a rough sleeper

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Author Andrew Fraser will be at Stroud Subscription Rooms on Wednesday, December 1st, to recount his journey from the heaven of Cher’s mansion in Hollywood to the hell of life in the gutters of East London as he joined London’s army of rough sleepers, where he penned his account of ‘genocidal’ government neglect, Invisible.

How to be Invisible: A Rat’s Eye View of Life on the Streets takes place in the Sub Rooms’ Central Bar and Kitchen and will discuss homelessness and the implications of Stroud being named the best place to live in the UK, and the subsequent surge in house prices and rent.

Andrew had worked as Deputy Editor at Attitude magazine and was living in London: “Amid the glamour of nights out in the West End, there was always the background noise of soaring rents and declining mental health. The gnawing unspoken realisation that I couldn’t miss a beat. And that I would have to keep running at this pace for the rest of my life just to stay still. People who rented flats were moving into shared accommodation, below that people who couldn’t afford shared accommodation were sofa surfing if they were lucky,” he explained.

“All of us who didn’t own their own property were caught in a downward vortex. And then there was the drip, drip, drip of increasing rough sleeping everywhere you looked. It was deliberate.

“I arrived in Stroud almost two years ago from a homeless hostel in Barking, East London. Previous to that I was rough sleeping on and off for nearly five years and would class myself as homeless for the whole of that time.

“While I was going through this insanity I also accidentally wrote my second book, Invisible… Which sprang out of a blog I began writing, just out of loneliness and frustration, not thinking that anybody would care. My book was published while I was sleeping in an alcove in Romford which was bittersweet to say the least.

“By my estimation Stroud is about five years from becoming the complete social calamity that is London and Brighton, not to mention Manchester and our other ‘regenerated’ cities. And I don’t really see anything that can be done to stop it.”

An award-winning short film of Andrew’s book, No Change, will be shown on the night. For tickets visit: How To Be Invisible: A Rat’s Eye View of Life on The Streets | What’s On | The Sub Rooms

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