How This Journey Began
The seed for this journey, understanding homelessness, was planted on a cold winter day in February when I was in college. I had stopped off to get a cup of coffee on my way to class. A homeless man wanted to use the bathroom in the coffee shop. “It’s only for customers,” he was told.“But I got to go bad!” (His exact words.)
The man was asked to leave. I just watched. I didn’t understand. As I came out of the coffee shop, the man was relieving himself against the building. I looked up at the revolving clock at the bank in the adjacent lot. It read, 5:00 PM. Underneath the time was the temperature…4 degrees. The man from that cold winter day has always haunted me.
A study of the annual Point in Time Census, a counting of the homeless, done each January across the country reveals numbers that are staggering. The reasons for homelessness are as varied as the more than 567,715 people experiencing homelessness. But still, I did not understand until I pulled up the sidewalk and began to learn.
This photo-documentary consists of nearly 200 portraits and stories of homelessness in America, from Miami to Seattle, the wealthiest nation on the planet. The need to address this tragedy is urgent as the 2019 Point In Time Census shows yet again an increase of 2.7% or 14,855 additional homelessness persons across America.