She calls out to the man on the street
"Sir, can you help me?
It's cold and I've nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?"
He walks on, doesn't look back
He pretends he can't hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there
These are the opening lyrics to the Phil Collins documentary song “Another Day in Paradise.” Collins describes a common confrontation on some of our own city streets when “ordinary” citizens see a homeless citizen nearby. Fear and uneasiness often overwhelm both of those involved in the chance meeting.
I have to ask how many people have met a homeless person or have taken the time to talk with one. Some could have met at one time or another with a homeless person but did not even realize who they were conversing with.
So who are the homeless and what do they do, and want, and need? In my photographic journeys, it is not uncommon to share a picture of a homeless person and the viewer immediately tags that person as a “bum.” I have heard that often. Too often.
In the next coming weeks, I plan on visiting with homeless people in and around Seminole County, Florida. I will share their stories, their pictures, their hopes and their dreams.
Hopefully, you will get to know them a little better and perhaps gain a greater understanding into their daily lives.