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People of Cessnock is a blog by local resident, Rebecca Murray. The project seeks to value the people of her home town by sharing their stories value and raising the profile of people living outside metropolitan areas.

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“I like it out in Cessnock. It’s unreal.

I wanna make it my home. It’s been nearly thirteen years of my life I’ve lived out here now.

I like the coal mines - the underground coal mines and that. I’ve researched as many as I could online. I just like it all.

When I threw in the house out at Singleton - at the end of 2017 I think it was - I left and I just stayed on the streets. I wanted to come back for the kids once things had sort-of calmed down a bit rather than re-rent.

I think my daughter might leave school and work with her mum and that so I wanna stay up here and try and support her and be here if she wants to see me in the future. And the boys and that. There’s three of them.

I don’t think sleeping rough is all that tricky really. I’m still finding it pretty easy cause I’m pretty resilient towards things and that.

I’ve gotten roughed up a few times while sleeping out here. I kind-of just took it like a joke a fair few times cause I always come up pretty fresh out of it and that sort of thing. But it’s pretty confusing. I guess they thought it was funny in a way. I don’t know how serious they were. I wondered for a while if I was going to have to get a restraining order against them … like, for their own personal safety and that.

But, I like sleeping rough. I really like it. Really. Lots of fresh air and you’re under the stars. I don’t like being boxed away in accommodation all by myself.

And I can’t find anyone to share with all that much now.

And my medical condition was going really good there for a while.

And cause that’s all I can afford on the money and that too.”

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