harnessing the power of photography for good

Sleepless San Diego :: Face of Homelessness

I first started photographing for the San Diego Rescue Mission in 2003, at their Annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner.  It has been a true honor to see up close, through the lens, the work that the Mission is doing for the homeless population in San Diego.

At this years Sleepless San Diego, the had a photo exhibit called “Face of Homelessness.”

Inside this tent were photos of the homeless in San Diego.  Linda, who put the exhibit together asked if I would contribute some photos, since she heard I had been helping photograph at the Mission.  I said it would be an honor and I gladly gave her a few photos to pick from.  These are a few of the photos that they used…

This was taken in the morning before the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner.  Groups go into downtown inviting the homeless to dinner…I was following a group that wandered down to Seaport Village Embarcadero Park.

I think this photo was taken at Easter Dinner.  One of the great things the Mission does is after the dinner, they give everyone a “goodie” bag of essentials.  They have 3 Community Dinners a year: Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  If you want to be blessed, volunteer for one of these events.
This was taken at a homeless outreach in Balboa Park.  They meet on Saturday mornings for Church Without Walls.  They invite the homeless to come, rest and attend church.  Afterwards they feed them lunch, hand out Bibles and just talk with them.

The next 2 were also taken at Church Without Walls at Christmas time.

After the service, they gave out Christmas presents to everyone along with backpacks full of toiletries, socks and other assorted essential items.  This young boy came with his dad, and I think he was blessed as much as the man receiving the present.  It was certainly a humbling moment.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you,and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

(Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

I am truly thankful for the opportunity to share some of these photos.  Hopefully, through these images folks can see that homelessness isn’t constrained by age or gender.  

These volunteers were walking around Sleepless with these signs…1 in 4 homeless are young adults ages 18-30!   The signs speak for themselves, even the ones upside down!

The SD Rescue Mission created this great video about 5 ways we can help the homeless.  Please take a look

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