Home thoughts by homeless young people

A roof over my head, a garden, pictures on the walls, light: home thoughts for our Christmas poetry blog come most powerfully and poignantly from young people who took part in a writing workshop organised by The Rock Trust, an Edinburgh-based charity supporting young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

During Write First Time, one workshop session explored housing and concepts of home. Two poems by Jo, aged 16, and Holly, aged 18, describe what home means:


It is safe and warm,

a place to call my own.

It is a roof over my head,

better than on the streets.

If you’re living with people,

it is challenging.

You should keep it clean.

Respect it.

Look after your home.

it will look after you.

It is time to be an adult.

Pay your bills.

Top up on gas and lecky.

Never abandon your home.

It is there for your time of need.

Love your home and be grateful.

It may not be much but it is yours,

and you are safe.

by Jo (16)

Across the UK, around 83,000 young people are homeless and 8,229 of them are in Scotland, according to the Rock Trust Winter Report 2015.  The charity also reports generous support for the annual sleep out in November which raised almost £80,000 in funding towards support for its work providing support and guidance for vulnerable young people in Edinburgh and the Lothians.






things you want

new clothes


somewhere to live








by Holly (18)

Human understanding and support go along with the practicalities of keeping a roof over your head, and Write First Time also explored personal development, mental health and relationships. The last session looked at hopes for the future.

As we hurtle towards a new year many of us will be making our lists of resolutions for new, better, beginnings. Jo’s poem, I Can’t Brag, captures the huge significance of small daily triumphs; unseen and uncelebrated by the outside world but full of silent hope.


I didn’t pick up the knife or pills today,

but that’s not something I can brag to people about.

Every day I get up out of bed and shower,

but I can’t brag to people about that.

I try to tell myself something I like about myself every time I look in the mirror,

but I can’t brag about that either.

I attempt every day to eat, no matter what the voices inside my head say,

but can’t brag about that.

All of my big achievements I’m proud of won’t look good on a CV,

and I can’t brag about them in interviews.

But who cares?

At least I know I’m doing it,

and that’s all that matters.

With thanks to Rock Trust, and especially Jo and Holly, for allowing us to publish their words. You can read Write First Time in full here  And Rock Trust reminds us that it will be happy to accept any unwanted gifts you think might be suitable for young people, throughout January. “Just get in touch if you have any questions!  events@rocktrust.org“.  See more about the work of The Rock Trust on its website.

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