Affirm Press will publish a profit-for-purpose book by writers who have experienced homelessness this November. Featuring 37 diverse writers, We Are Here: Stories of Home, Place and Belonging is being edited by novelist, homelessness researcher and former Big Issue deputy editor Meg Mundell.
While all the contributors have been paid for their work, thanks to funding provided by a 2019 City of Melbourne Arts Grant, Meg Mundell and Affirm Press will donate all profits from the sale of this book to charities working with homeless communities: The Big Issue, Roomers magazine (Elwood St Kilda Neighbourhood Learning Centre), Launch Housing (Common Ground Development, Elizabeth Street) and the Peer Education and Support Program, at the Council to Homeless Persons. Profits will be used to fund creative programs for the organisations’ clients.
By turns gripping, heartfelt and humorous, the stories in We Are Here showcase the creative talents of people who have experienced homelessness and explore understandings of place among this diverse community. All the writers are part of Australia’s large shadow population of people who have survived or are currently experiencing homelessness. Contributors include both undiscovered talents, and already-celebrated authors such as Behrouz Boochani, Krissy Kneen, Claire G. Coleman, Josiane Behmoiras, and Gregory P. Smith, with a foreword by Tony Birch, along with several visual artists who have experienced homelessness.
Affirm Press publishing director Martin Hughes said:
‘Meg Mundell and I worked together at The Big Issue so I know she has the passion and gumption to create something extraordinary with these talented writers. We’ve been overwhelmed by the support of the bookselling community for these profit-for-purpose projects in the past and I’m eager to see the impact We Are Here will have.’
Affirm Press’s profit-for-purpose books have gone on to become bestsellers and have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities including The Royal Children’s Hospital with The Silver Sea, The Alannah and Madeline Foundation with Letters of Love and the Reach Foundation with Letter to My Teenage Self.