Denise Felkin
Photographer, Author & Educator

All images ©Denise Felkin

I’ve always had a problem with alcohol and after 11 years of married life I was an alcoholic. I lost six stone. My husband could not get through to me. I had closed down. I started staying with someone I met at pre-detox meetings, he practically battered me to death, I was in hospital for 10 days. My  ex husband got me out and took me to the council. I could not go back to our flat by this time as it was up for sale and I was put into emergency accommodation.
After a month or so they moved me into a homeless hostel. I did not want to go there, having been a chef around the corner for 13 years. I knew of its reputation, alcoholics, drug users and the undesirables from the street. I could not place myself there from what and where I had come from. I had no choice, private rentals would not let me rent their properties as although I had the deposit I had no guarantor.  
I was confused, unhappy, nervous, mostly drunk, poorly and scared stiff of the other residents never having being in such a situation before. The hostel and its residents myself included had some deep problems and I know if was not for those good days I would not have survived that period of my life. I was at the hostel for a total of 18 months.
I now live in a little flat that I have made my own. I’m divorced but my ex and I are still friends. My health is still not good, the doctors have told me I only have a year or so to live because of Pancreas Cancer, but I know for sure that I am one of the lucky ones. I really was a cats whisker from the living on the streets.

Jennifer 1972 - 2015

©Denise Felkin 2015

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