The Living Library

Stories of Housing & Home

This Living Library collection contains the stories and insights of those who have experienced social housing or homelessness. It also speaks to the effectiveness of peer support and why the voices of lived experience make a difference in the design and delivery of housing services.


The Niagara Falls Public Library, Niagara Region, and Niagara Regional Housing invite you to read these books, be part of the conversation, and see the people behind the prejudice.
 

 

Living Books as Video

In an in-person Living Library event, “books” can be “checked-out” and “read” through candid conversation. Current restrictions mean that our Living Library consists of unscripted and unfiltered video recordings. We have aimed to go beyond storytelling and to capture and share genuine, natural conversations.  

Click on a book's cover to view their story.
Jeffrey Sinclair Homelessness Action Plan Advisor, Niagara Region The Incomparable Value Of Lived ExperienceWe hope to bring the voice of lived experience to the forefront of understanding and decision making around important issues and we hope that you will approach these discussions with an open mind and an open heart so that you can truly listen to the stories being shared.
Dave Peer support Worker Niagara Homelessness Services SOS: Share Our StoryAs a personal support worker, I have been through a lot of things they’ve been through, and giving them a bit about my background can hopefully get them to voice their opinions and what they need. I thought it was my duty and my honour to represent some of my friends who have been struggling with this.
Annie Affordable Housing Identity Restored When you give a person a place to live, a place to make their own, you give them identity. You make it easier for them to just love life again.
Bonnie Affordable Housing Making A Move Is A Good Thing I hope that people will decide to go for it: to make a change, to fulfill a dream, or to do something a little different in their life.
Affordable Housing Niagara Homelessness Services I Want To Be A Success StoryDon’t wait. Just do it. Find the services that are out there and don’t hesitate to take that first step to start improving your life. Don’t let pride get in the way... I did for a long time.
Ryan Affordable Housing Niagara Homelessness Services Living Harmoniously In CommunityAfter going through all of the process and settling down, the peace and stability that came through having a place of my own that I could call a sanctuary helped me gain insight into myself, so that I was able to grow in a direction more healthy for my overall lifestyle.

 

See What the Books Have to Say

Click the links to see and hear their answers.
What has been your most positive experience with housing services in the region?  What do you see as working best?
What has been the biggest challenge in your experiences with housing services in the region? What do you see as needing to be improved?
Why do you think sharing your knowledge and experience is important?
Do you have any advice for someone going through a situation similar to yours?
If you could tell community members one thing, what would it be?
If you could tell community leaders one thing, what would it be?

 

Join the Conversation

We want YOU to be part of the Living Library! Feel free to ask questions or submit your own thoughts and experiences. Only provide as much personal information as you feel necessary. 


Questions will be compiled and passed to either the books themselves, Niagara Region and/or Niagara Regional Housing staff, or working groups that meet regularly to discuss related topics (e.g. the Lived Experience Group and the Tenant Advisory Committee).


Given the different organizations and individuals involved, please allow for up to three weeks for your question to be answered.


While a tenet of the Living Library is to facilitate unfiltered conversation, questions deemed to disrupt the environment of mutual respect will not be included in the shared dialogue. 

 

Join the conversation today!

 

 

Community Information


Thanks to our contributing partners

The project partners would like to acknowledge Madeleine Jones, a fourth year Political Science student at Brock University, who supported the development of this project through a community-based experiential learning placement with Niagara Region Homelessness Services.