A Uneasy Dwelling: The story of the Philadelphia Association community houses
ISBN 978 1 906254 24 7 (2010)
Providing places of asylum has been at the heart of the Philadelphia Association’s endeavours for more than 40 years. Hundreds of men and women, whether formally designated ‘mentally ill’, or experiencing serious emotional distress to the point where they can no longer cope, have found in the PA’s community houses a haven, a place where, in the company of others, they are allowed to go through whatever they have to go through, in their own time and in their own way, free from the well-meaning interventions of psychiatry or family.
Despite the longevity and the radically different nature of the project, surprisingly little has been written about the work. This book is an attempt to correct that. It is in part a history of the houses as well as an account of how the houses work today and an exploration of their underpinning ethos.
• The Philadelphia Association has helped hundreds of people suffering emotional distress over the last 40 years.
• It is most closely associated with one of its founders, the famous R.D. Laing.
• The Philadelphia Association safe houses have been and are an inspiration to many service providers.
• Despite its longevity and radical approach, little has been written about the association’s history until now.
1. Kingsley Hall: ‘Something was shown there’
2. The community network, 1970-200
3. The story of a house 1: Portland Road
4. The story of a house 2: Freegrove Road
5. Hospitality, dwelling and home
6. Ordinary living: Our houses today
7. Against all odds: Some concluding remarks