National youth homelessness charity, Depaul UK, is using the power of playlists to tell the unheard stories of homeless young people through Spotify.

The campaign, created in partnership with Publicis London, aims to reach the 16-to-25 age group with which Depaul UK works and reframe how they see homelessness and its causes.

With the support of Spotify playlists, the stories of George, 20, Kristina, 20, Fatos, 25, Jecoliah, 19, and Emma, 21 - five individuals among the estimated 80,000 homeless young people - are told using the titles of songs in a personal way. As users read the song titles, the playlist reveals that young person’s experience of homelessness. A final 'track' allows the listener to hear directly from the individual, giving a unique insight into their previously unheard story. 



"Sharing my own story through a Spotify playlist has helped to show the world, but also myself, how strong I am as a person," says Jecoliah [pictured above], who features in the campaign. "Music has always given me strength. It helped me to escape homelessness, to become a better person, and through this project I hope that it can help other young people to do the same."

The diverse playlists break down stereotypes of people who experience homelessness by sharing personal accounts of the varied circumstances which can lead to someone not having a home.

"Living in London/ Going to School/ Until/ All Goes Wrong/ Injustice/ Threats/ Back Home/ I Became/ Stranger In My Home Town/ Under Pressure/ Keep Asking Myself/ Should I Stay or Should I Go" - part of Fatos' Unheard playlist

Playlists Against Homelessness launched last week at Facebook’s London headquarters at an event featuring singer Tom Grennan. “I’m proud to be performing to support the Depaul Unheard campaign. Listening to these moving stories, told through Spotify, will change your understanding of youth homelessness.”   

“Every experience of homelessness is unique, and the diversity of playlists demonstrates this," commented Mike Thiedke, Depaul UK’s CEO. "Through Spotify, we hope to break through the noise and reach listeners directly so that they can understand what people like George and Fatos have experienced. We’re very grateful for the support we have received from Spotify, Facebook, Tom Grennan and Sony. And our partner Publicis London’s creativity and enthusiasm have made this project a reality. Working with such exciting companies ensures we are able to amplify our voice and raise awareness of this important issue.” 

"We’ve all been guilty of switching our noise-cancelling mode ‘on’ when it comes to the issue of youth homelessness," says Dave Monk, Publicis London's executive creative director. "What better way to get people to listen than by using the world’s greatest voices to help tell these unheard stories.”  

Listen to the playlists here and find out more about the campaign here.


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