HomeAid Northern Virginia and its shelter partners serve a diverse range of people, all with one thing in common—a daily struggle to provide for their own housing. But how does that struggle affect their lives? How are their days different and the same as our own? To help clients tell their stories, HomeAid asked residents of local agencies and shelters to take snapshots of their daily lives. Each participant was given a disposable camera and had one week to take pictures. In addition, HomeAid asked clients to complete a questionnaire, which gave them the opportunity to talk about what makes them happy, what they’re afraid of, their biggest challenge, and where they see themselves in five years.
The response was amazing, and both heart-breaking and inspirational: “I’m afraid of failure” … “I’m determined to make it and not be a statistic” … “I want to run my own successful business” … “No matter what, I know I can make it” … “Making a difference to all of the people I know makes me happy” … “I am a good father to my kids” … “I am a survivor of many things—rape, molestation, abuse—but I’m getting married in November, I’m working on my Master’s degree, and I am in leadership training at church. I couldn’t be happier.”
HomeAid is now compiling the photos and the stories behind them, with plans to build an exhibit to show the public another face of homelessness.