New Museum of Homelessness to open in Finsbury Park
The Museum of Homelessness (MoH) today announced plans to open a new museum at Manor House Lodge, Finsbury Park that will host creative programmes and community services focused on homelessness and housing.
Opening to the public in 2023, it will be created by MoH's award winning team in partnership with local residents and community groups. A ten-year community lease from key partner, Haringey Council, will enable significant investment in the site.
The new Museum will be a world class creative hub that hosts performances, talks and workshops developed by people with experience of homelessness. In the first year, this will include new work developed with the local community by 3 artists in residence – Jacob V Joyce, Surfing Sofas and Liv Wynter.
MoH will also provide 250 support sessions per year (five per week) from Manor House Lodge - designed in partnership with those in need. This is likely to include regular surgeries focused on housing and legal rights as well as the provision of essentials at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is biting.
The plans for the site also include an open access professional standard arts studio for people experiencing homelessness.
Museum of Homelessness will also be partnering with Access to Sports, providing space onsite so the sports development charity can continue its important work in the park.
Chair of Trustees Sharon Heal said:
“This is a critical moment in the development of the museum and we are grateful for the support and commitment of our partners at Haringey Council, our funders and everyone who has supported us on this journey. This ground-breaking museum is everything a museum should be, rooted and radical and with a far-reaching ambition to make positive and lasting change with our communities.”
Museum of Homelessness cofounder Matt Turtle said:
“After working in borrowed venues for seven years and relying on the generosity of partners like The Outside Project, we are delighted to be putting down our own roots in Haringey. Finsbury Park is the people’s park, with a proud and radical history. We are excited about transforming this precious site into a museum space like no other, a place where people can hear stories they won't hear anyone else and receive practical support when they need it. Our community will work with partners including the council and people experiencing homelessness locally to make a space for everyone.”
Cllr Julie Davies, Cabinet Member for Communities and Civic Life said:
“In Haringey we are proud of our approach to supporting residents affected by rough sleeping and homelessness, so I am delighted that Finsbury Park will soon be home to a new Museum of Homelessness. As well as being an important community space that draws on our borough’s rich heritage of social action, this new museum will challenge visitors to rethink their preconceptions and encourage them to approach people who experience homelessness with compassion and empathy.”
On 23rd September the Museum of Homelessness team will be at StreetsFest in Finsbury Park to talk with local people about the plans for the site and gather ideas for what kind of services and activities are most needed. StreetsFest is completely free and will include food, music, arts and spaces for people affected by homelessness to access services. The event runs from 12noon to 5pm.
More about Museum of Homelessness.
Museum of Homelessness (MoH) is an independent London based charity that has won awards for both the artistic experiences it creates and the support it provides for people experiencing homelessness.
MoH's artistic programme has included shows at Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Manchester Art Gallery. It also operates regularly on the streets and in hostels, squats and day centres, working with partners including The Outside Project, Streets Kitchen and the Simon Community to provide essential supplies and services. Its last public event, Secret Museum, was named Exhibition of the Year 2021 at the Museums and Heritage Awards and one of Time Out's Top Ten things to do in London.
MoH's work with communities was also recognized with the Calouste Gulbenkian Award for Civic Arts Organisations, 2021. This award recognised the contribution of Museum of Homelessness to the work of the Homeless Taskforce during the pandemic. which included; campaigning to use hotel rooms for people experiencing homelessness, running a seven day a week supplies hub, operating night outreach on the streets during the winter lockdown, piloting a street legal clinic and street vaccination clinics and challenging far right racism towards homeless migrants.
More about the new world class community site in Haringey
Opening fully in 2023, the lodge will be the Museum’s base of operations and a centre for creativity, healing and community cohesion. Plans for the site are being developed by people with experience of homelessness with the support of Stephen Greenberg, a museum masterplanner who as founder of Metaphor Design has worked on more than 100 museum projects.
Museum of Homelessness at Manor House Lodge will provide paid creative employment for seven talented people with experience of homelessness.
Confirmed funders for Museum of Homelessness at Manor House Lodge include Historic England, The Linbury Trust, Oak Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Arts Council England.
Museum of Homelessness making a home in Haringey brings significant investment to the site, the park and the surrounding boroughs. These independently raised funds will go directly to residents of Haringey, Hackney and Islington who will work with us to co-produce services and activities onsite and decide what is most needed.
Museum of Homelessness has a strong track record of working with a range of partners including Streets Kitchen and the Outside Project to deliver rapid response, much needed services. This included a 7 day per week emergency hub in lockdown one which distributed 8916 meals and care packs across the Islington and 4774 items supplied to people living on the streets of Westminster during the winter lockdown 2021. During this period MoH with partners also piloted and delivered rapid response street vaccination and legal clinics for people experiencing homelessness.
Haringey Council is currently undertaking initial works on the site, with Museum of Homelessness set to be onsite once these are finished in Autumn 2022. The Museum of Homelessness team will then undertake a 6-month community development period with the site set to open to the public in Spring/Summer 2023.
We have press quality images available and cofounders Matt and Jess Turtle are available for interview, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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