I am so sorry that I haven't updated you all sooner, but the project was a HUGE SUCCESS!!!
On Friday, I arrived to Grand Circus Park to find a couple dozen homeless men and women waiting. They all came to the car to aid with the setup of signs, the food station, the clothing station, and other areas around the park. The project was truly theirs.
At around 9:30AM on Friday, I rallied up the troops with a speech that inspired our participants (it will later be posted). We got a portrait of each participant, provided them with a ticket from 1 -40. and we gave out the cameras in order. All 40 were delivered into the hands of the homeless, and we were sad to see some leave without one. I would say that over 60 turned out to participate.
Many stayed around the park for a little while to chat, eat, be interviewed on camera, and to just hang out. It was one of the most eloquent experience in my life thus far. The smiles on each of their face and their support for the project was something I never expected. I wish you all could have been there.
Saturday was a bit more exciting, however. When I arrived to Grand Circus to collect the cameras, the excitement and the stories each told about their experiences with the camera was awesome. Some even stated that they would do it again for no pay. Others wanted just the money. We received 35 back, which is a much better number than I had predicted. They actually wanted to tell their story, and you'll be able to hear some interviews in the coming week.
We packed lunches for each, provided them with the URL for the project and my contact information to stay connected. I plan on taking a few out to lunch in the coming week, and feel that I have become their spokesman on the streets. Like I said, I wish you ALL could have came. You would have been inspired, too.
In the coming week, I plan to send out the cameras to a developer in NYC. He gave us a great deal, as well as digital copies of each photo, and I feel that he'll cherish the photos as much as we will. I will be sending out surveys for addresses for the thank you cards, as well as for the buttons. Stay tuned for video, photos, and press updates for the project.
We did it guys. We actually spent an entire day with 35 of Detroit's homeless population. This project IS going to change the face of homelessness forever. And that's because of each of you.
Talk to you all soon,