We help homeless people define themselves.
"To me, living on the streets now really beats prison. I can wake up. I can look at the stars. I can pack up and walk away. I'm free. I love where things are in life. Even though they hard, that's part of life."
"I live my life thinking about art all the time. And less thinking about what's actually happening in my life. Because I know I'm in control."
"I came up here. I worked. Then I fell. Now I'm homeless. And I can't go back there. But I love her more than I love myself."
"When I was a photographer I used to go around the city, in early recovery, I went around on my bike and photograph the skyline. And the funny thing about this view: there was an area that I always wanted to get out to see the whole view of the city. And I could never get out there because it was Department of Health property. You weren’t allowed out there. And then after I ended up homeless, I ended up living at the homeless shelter out there. And I finally got my view.”
“When I needed to find a way to support myself I started out by painting a lot of my old photographs by memory. Anything that I can see I can remember.”
"When people come by and they’re like 'WOW!' all day long... it’s a real ego boost. I was always creative and I never really got a lot of support for it. My old man was completely against me going to art school. So when I come out here and hear that all day long, it’s definitely an ego boost. I think that’s what we all need in recovery … to hear that kind of stuff. A lot of us are battling depression because we didn’t come from supportive backgrounds.”
"“When I first came out here, I didn’t want to be the prototypical homeless guy shaking a cup in front of Starbucks. That’s why I took up painting.... I know it's not going to make me rich, but at least will eat for another night. And hopefully with the storm coming, I'll be able to save up enough money for a hotel room, instead of sleep in a tent under a tree.”
"I have the fear of... I can actually sing too. I don't like doing it in front of people. I get so nervous. I don't like telling people that."
"It's hard. And especially if you're not in a shelter. And figuring out how you're going to eat, how you're going to survive, what your next step is, where you're going to go [... some people] think of you as a bad person. They think you did something wrong to deserve it."
"I lived with my mom. She went into a nursing home. And so I ended up on the street. [...] I'm at a point where I'm homeless and I can't talk to the only family that I have. That's really tough."
"Sometimes I pray to God to take my life and let me go to Heaven. I just wish, you know, I would go to sleep and not wake up. I do. I do that all the time. I pray for that. I’m just… I’m tired. I’m getting old. I give up. I really do. I give up. There’s no place for me here.”
“I love my country. I love the people. I love everything about this place. But sometimes I feel let down that I’m forgotten about."
"[Some people] make me feel like I’m a robber, a thief, a vagabond. I feel terrible. I’m just a normal person. [...] I live honestly. I do without a lot. I do without eating. I ain’t eaten in 3 or 4 days. But I don’t say nothing to nobody."