Scarborough woman who was homeless for over a year has written book on how she turned life around

A woman who came back from the brink after being homeless for 403 days has written a book detailing her struggle – and how she found her way home.

Hannah Green, who was homeless for more than a year and has now written a book about her experience
Hannah Green, who was homeless for more than a year and has now written a book about her experience

Two years ago, Hannah Green was homeless and hopping between sofas and hostels in her hometown of Scarborough in what she describes as the lowest point of her life.

Struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder connected to sexual abuse she suffered both earlier in her life and while she was at university, Ms Green found herself unable to find a job and battling a drink problem.

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At the end of 2018, she nearly tried to take her own life before being stopped by a police officer.

Ms Green's book My Journey Home

But after fighting through with the help of local charity Scarborough Survivors, the 24-year-old has since moved into a flat and has now written her story in a book published this week.

The book, she hopes, will help improve people's understanding of how someone can become homeless, and provide hope to those experiencing it.

Titled My Journey Home, charity worker Ms Green wrote the autobiography during the lockdown, bringing her story up to where she is now after being offered a full-time job with the Centre for Homelessness Impact over the summer.

"I remember joking to a friend two days before the first lockdown that if it happened, I would write a book," she said.

"I didn't actually think I would get around to it, but when lockdown hit my friend called me and said, 'are you writing this book then?' So I sat down and got started.

"At the time, I wasn't working because I had been volunteering. But when that stopped suddenly, I needed something to keep me busy."

My Journey Home starts at the end of 2018, which is when Ms Green said she "hit rock bottom".

"I was as low as it gets," she said.

"I was surrounded by people dealing drugs and blasting incredibly loud music through the night."

The book, she said, focuses on the rock bottom, how she found herself there and how she got through it.

"There are so many misconceptions about homelessness, so I think if it can start to change what people think when they hear that word, then the book has served its purpose. But also if just one person reads it and realises that things will get better then that's great.

"Putting all the words onto the page just felt really therapeutic and I think writing it helped me a lot, because before the lockdown I had been going to Scarborough Survivors but last year so many of us found ourselves suddenly without that support network."

Ms Green writes about life in homeless shelters, the severe mental health issues she experienced, and how discovering surfing while in Scarborough helped her overcome her struggles.

"I've obviously had to change names, but I've written a lot about the real lows such as being in hostels where things could often get heated and kick off," she said.

"There were a lot of drugs problems going on around me.

Ms Green's book was published earlier this week and is available in Waterstones branches, as well as in Dexter's Surf Shop in Scarborough where she will be available for a Covid-secure signing between 2-4pm on Saturday, April 17.