Homeless people develop a feeling of disconnection, from other people, from society and from themselves. This disconnection breeds feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. This is a major contributing factor to the failure rate of attempts to bring them back into society. I know I've been there. I've felt the hopelessness and seen it amongst my peers.
I believe that this photography project which I am fortunate enough to have joined, serves an important role in helping both the artists and the subjects to regain a feeling of self worth and importance. Not only do we take a photograph, but we communicate on a very real and personal level with most of the subjects. The result is a type of bonding which is uncommon within the homeless community. I have witnessed the effects first hand. The group members have become stronger and formed friendships with each other and developed a connection with society as a whole, which strengthens them and improves their chances of rejoining society on a permanent basis. The subjects express gratitude for the chance to talk about their situation with someone who actually cares and hopefully this will lead to further connections for one or two of them. If we help one person take the first step on the road back, we will have been successful.
When I was homeless, several ordinary people took the time to talk to me. Not preaching, you understand. Just listening to what I had to say about myself and my circumstances. The ones I appreciated most didn't try to tell me what to do they just listened and showed that they cared. They helped to restore hope. This gave me the strength to try and eventually I came back.