“From Ragz to Richez”: Crystal Anna’s Story

Young and Homeless

Crystal Anna became homeless in her early 20s following a family breakdown.

Sense of Community

She first came across Genesis after being referred by Julian House and came to Lifeline for food and clothing, and sometimes a haircut.

“Lifeline was so important for me. Coming for someone to talk to was just as important as the food or the clothing. It’s much harder on your own”.

“The rest of the homeless community also really kept me going. They understand the situation you’re in and look out for one another”.

From Ragz-Richez

While on the street, Crystal kept herself occupied doing writing and drawing.

“At school the only thing I was good at was art. Drawing has always been my way of escaping from my current reality, whether that be depression or family problems, and imagining an alternate reality”.

From Ragz to Richez is a semi-autobiographical fantasy graphic novel which tells Crystal’s story through the language of drawing.

“At the beginning is the depression, with the derelict house, and being on the street. The protagonist dreams of a better life – having a house, becoming rich, and being the princess of the nation”.

Moving Off The Streets

In some ways Crystal’s dream has become a reality: “I have my own flat and I’m making it into a home”.

But she also acknowledges the challenges of moving off the street: “at first I wasn’t used to being on my own. You become reliant on the people around you so it’s hard when that support network is no longer there. It’s a case of readjusting”.

Publication

Throughout all her experiences her artwork has helped her along: “the notes and drawings have been by my side – I’ve always looked back at it for inspiration”.

Now she wants to share her experiences by publishing her drawings: “I thought it could help other people and inspire them as it has for me”.

If you’d like to read her book, you can purchase it here. For more stories like this, sign up to our monthly e-newsletter.