ABOUT THE PROJECT
In September 2012, I started volunteering at Repairers of the Breach; a daytime shelter and resource center for the homeless, to which I still volunteer at today. At my short time there I have learned a plethora about the homeless in Milwaukee. Milwaukee remains ones of America's ten most impoverished big cities, with a poverty rate of 29.4% in 2011, and this percentage continues to rise in 2012. More statistics can be found here.
The stories of the homeless people I interact with at Repairers of the Breach have inspired me to raise awareness of this issue in Milwaukee. Many of these people have degrees, have had multiple jobs/layoffs, or have just been born into poverty. Being homeless is not something that they've chosen.
I have decided to publish a book with photographs of these people accompanied by their stories. Photography, I believe, is a great way to tell a story. I'm going to photograph these individuals where they sleep, with their families, at their jobs, or a place where they spend most of their time. I want to get their stories; the stories of how they got where they are, and where they are going. After getting all of the images and stories, I'm going to place them into a book, print them out and try to get them into museums, all to raise awareness.
Many people around Milwaukee, and other cities across the nation simply ignore people of a lesser social standing than them. People believe that homeless people are drug addicts, winos, criminals, mentally ill, or are too lazy to work. A majority of impoverished people do not want to be in the position they are in; many look to move out of their situation and be able to contribute to society.
Their stories need to be heard.
Before conceiving the idea for this project. A citizen of Repairers of the Breach was telling me about how homeless people get overlooked by everyone around them. That people ignore them, stereotype them, and treat them as if they are not even human; like they don't exist. I want to photograph these people to share their stories, and show the world that homeless people are the same as everyone else.
WHY SHOULD YOU SUPPORT THIS PROJECT
The photographs are going to be great!
This project is about social justice.
This is a great way to raise awareness about the impoverished citizens of Milwaukee and across the globe.
I was born in 1991 in Baltimore, MD. I started photographing when I was fifteen and never stopped. I work as a freelance photographer in Milwaukee and currently attend Marquette University for Electrical and Computer Engineering.
About my photographs: Architecture has always been the main theme in my work. But now I'm shifting more into portrait photography. Capturing the emotions of my subjects, which convey their stories, trials and tribulations. I strive to create something unidentifiable but familiar to suggest that there is more substance to connect with beneath the surface of the photograph.
You can see more of my work on my website and blog!
WHY I NEED YOUR HELP
To make this project happen, I need to raise money to rent equipment and a voice recorder to record the interviews. $700 is the absolute minimum amount to make the project possible. This all goes towards making the series of images, mainly portraits, and not to me directly nor to charity (Kickstarter guidelines do not allow funds to be raised for charity). The Kickstarter goal covers the production of the shoot and post-production.
Your contributions will go towards:
- Production: equipment rentals (mainly a wide angle lens, I already own a 35mm portrait lens) and a voice recorder for when doing the interviews and getting people's stories
- Post-Production: film processing and printing
- YOUR REWARDS!
Thank you so much for your help!
If you are unable to support the project financially, I understand, but I do hope you will be able to help me spread the word! Here's where I’m at:
Gallery (Most of my images are here)
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
SOME QUOTATIONS THAT HAVE INSPIRED THIS PROJECT
James 2:14-17 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
"Poverty is the worst form of violence." - Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Risks and challenges
Some risks I will be facing are:
- Getting the stories of the people I photograph.
- Getting a diverse group of people who accurately represent the impoverished in Milwaukee (which is not only homeless people)
To overcome these problems, I already have talked to some people who would be willing to share their stories. Plus with my volunteering at various centers, many will feel more comfortable telling me their stories.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)