We first met Daisy-May Hudson about a year and a half ago at some wanky free-drinks event in Shoreditch and were introduced to her through mutual friends. When we casually asked what Daisy did, she told us she was 'making a documentary about the housing crisis'. Naturally, we were interested but it wasn't until we read I am one of Britain's Hidden Homeless in VICE a few weeks later did we realise that Daisy was in fact homeless and documenting every moment. A full-time journalist, documentary-writer, producer and on-screen host for VICE Daisy didn't fit the homeless stereotype.
Imagine you're suddenly homeless. The idea seems unfathomable, doesn't it? This was a reality last year when Daisy, her mother and sister, all suddenly found themselves without a roof over their heads. Whilst rough sleepers are a common sight to us all on London's street-corners, when Daisy chose to write a piece on her family being made homeless, people were forced to sit up and listen. Why? Daisy was part of London's growing community of 'hidden homeless' people and when she spoke to the world about her housing situation, she was speaking as a representative of the current scale of 'hidden homelessness' which according to crisis.org.uk is estimated to be around 2.3 million in the UK.
What Daisy meant when she spoke about 'hidden homelessness' is exactly what it sounds like. Daisy continued to go into work, fur coat on, and behave as though nothing was wrong, despite the reality of returning back to a hostel at night; sharing a bed with her fourteen year old sister and living out of boxes. Having been on the council house list for 13 years with no promise of a house, Daisy's mother's single parent income could not match the dramatic rise in rent prices and their landlord sold up. And that was that. Daisy was suddenly without an address. Many of her friends and extended family were not even aware of Daisy's dire predicament until the piece had been published, and her bravery paid off. Daisy and her family were subsequently inundated with messages of support, love and condolence, even being offered a house by two strangers. Friends Daisy had gone to primary school with reached out, strangers sent vouchers and perseverance paid off: she now has a permanent home.
Her unflagging commitment as a housing campaigner and social-equality lobbyist has drawn deserved accolades. During the whole ordeal, Daisy was documenting every moment on her camera and will be releasing the footage as a feature-length documentary called Half Way which she funded through £10,300 worth of donations, later this year.
Profiled in i-D as one of 2015's youngest and most influential activists in the UK today, it's this kind of coverage that's testament to the resonance Daisy's story had. While Daisy's temporary homelessness has shaped her voice, it has not come to define or limit her work as a director, commentator, screenplay writer and activist. One of our favourite of Daisy's short-films is her Taxi To Mars, about transgender taxi-driver, Melissa Ede who was among 1,058 people picked from 200,000 candidates globally for the £4 billion Mars One Project. Much to our sadness Mel wasn't in the final selection (we were routin' for ya!) but she's still ensuring Hull's finest citizens make it back to their own front doors on a Friday night.
It's easy to understand why Daisy's friends might jokingly describe her as 'never chilling', 'never sleeping'- she's achieved so much already, but when we asked Daisy 'what's next?' and she quipped, 'taking over the world, lol!' we couldn't help but detect a hint of sincerity. Daisy for Prime minister.