about two years ago my sister and i traveled to san francisco for a mini vacation. and i fell head over feet, out of my mind, in love with the city. this past november my girl jenna and i got to go back to shoot a wedding and have some fun.
if you don't know san francisco has a high population of homeless (almost 6500 in 2013). both times i was there i stayed in a bomb hostel right downtown. so i came in contact with these people a lot. in 2013 hannah and i met a man who was distributing newspapers that covers the issues of the homeless in exchange for donations. we shared a smoke with him and talked to him briefly. it wasn't an extremely exciting conversation but i will always remember him telling us over and over "take care of each other." something our late grandma always said. after we put out our cigarettes we went our separate ways. hannah and i enjoyed breakfast at a diner down the road. he probably didn't eat.
when jenna and i were there in november we decided we wanted to do something, anything to help these people. we went to a walgreens and loaded up on granola bars, individual packets of nuts, and boxes of fruit punch and yoo-hoo. we came across a man begging on a street corner. we asked if he would like something to eat and he told us how hungry he was. we pulled our stash of food out of our purses and his face fell. "i can't eat that." he said. he followed it up with "i ain't got no teeth!" we all laughed. he took a yoo-hoo and told us we were angels. we ended up giving away almost all of the food. but a lot of the people we offered it to could not accept it because over half of the homeless adults in our nation have not seen a dentist in two or more years.
i have been fortunate enough to do quite a bit of traveling. everywhere i have gone i have received the same advice in regards to dealing with the homeless. it's something along the lines of "don't even look at them."
Don't Even Look At Them.
well i am. i'm looking at them. because they are people. they are human beings.
photographers are story tellers. that's what we claim at least. and while i enjoy telling love stories. i think i have another story to tell.
more than 51,000 men women and children in Los Angeles County don't have anywhere to call home.
up to 10,000 women are held in underground brothels in Los Angeles. 99% of them will never be rescued.
day to day 640,000 children in Los Angeles County don't know if they will have enough to eat.
this time next week i will be in LA working with, filming, and photographing the people who live on Skid Row. 7 days to get to know these people. to make connections. to tell a story. i don't know what it is yet. but damn i'm going to tell it.
hey skid row-
i see you.