Denver Street Photography | Homelessness

Today as I was driving home I was at a stop light and noticed the overwhelming smell of urine. I glanced out my window and this scene caught my eye.  You can’t live in Denver or the surrounding area without encountering its overwhelmingly large homeless population. It eats at my conscience every time I see them. I want to help, and the only way I know how right this moment is to spread the word and share my images to illustrate the reality of being homeless. I had an uncle who was a troubled soul and lived on the streets for most of his adult life. He passed away last year.

These are people, they aren’t just homeless people, they are actual people. They live and breathe and want the same comforts that we all take for granted far too often. Imagine if this was your son or daughter, an aunt or uncle, your brother, or your best friend from the 3rd grade.  We have to stop this disturbing trend of  just ignoring everything that is unpleasant or doesn’t fill our immediate needs. Homeless people are not just lowlife bums that don’t care about anything. They are people, and they need help.

Five truths about homelessness:

1. Two out of three of the homeless in Denver are families with children.
2. Forty-two percent are women.
3. Nearly half of the homeless have jobs—just not a home.
4. Most panhandlers aren’t homeless and most of the homeless don’t panhandle.
5. The most common reasons people become homeless are job loss, housing costs, and the break up of a family.

Denver’s Road Home is a comprehensive, integrated plan that blends a “housing first” solution with responsibility, self-reliance and accountability.

A Fiscally Responsible Approach—Denver has been spending over $70 million annually on shelter, health care and other services for the homeless without creating long-term solutions. Denver’s Road Home provides a coordinated, efficient and long-term response that is fiscally responsible and will save taxpayers money.

A Regional Response is Imperative—There have been more than 10,000 homeless people estimated in the metro area, over 55% of these men, women and children live outside the City of Denver. Denver is collaborating with surrounding counties through the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative, including Boulder, Douglas, Adams, Jefferson, Arapahoe and Broomfield counties. These seven counties are working to expand affordable housing and shelter beds and to close gaps in services.

Self Reliance—The plan balances the provision of housing, treatment services and job training with expectations of personal responsibility and self-reliance from those who receive the services. It is about creating opportunity and helping people regain control of their lives.

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Denver Street Photography | Homelessness

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12 thoughts on “Denver Street Photography | Homelessness

  1. In the work I do, many of my patients are homeless. Some have mental health issues, and for some that live from paycheck to paycheck, it is a job loss or some such crisis that pushes them over the edge. Having a health condition on top of it can just be too much.
    The problem is world wide, but in addressing our homelessness right here in the United States, a land of wealth, there has just go to be a solution.

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  2. Great post! I live in a rural area in the hills of North Georgia, and it’s surprising how many homeless families we have. Our church has provided housing (in the church building itself) for 3 homeless families. I teach in an evening high school for students who cannot attend day school due to work schedules or family difficulties. Several of our students are homeless.

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  3. I know during my time in Denver, there was an organization called ‘Dry Bones’ that did a lot of good. One would think that in a city of people where consciousness and contentiousness is practiced more than in other places, that the citizens of said place could come up with a solution that would demand a place in the city’s budget. Something other than more law-enforcement. Something other than hand-outs. but, thats just me.

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  4. The photograph is beautiful in colors and line, and then the brain catches up to the eye and realizes the dark reality behind the bright colors. Your picture, your words, and the link you provide: what a great way to testify, what a great contribution to this human crisis.

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  5. My job brings me into contact with people from all walks of life and from all parts of the world.
    There are many reasons for street homelessness & it is world wide.
    The thing I remind people is that the reality of life is that we are all only one crisis away from finding ourselves in this situation.

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    • I have been in some pretty dire straits in my lifetime, so I am sympathetic to the strife of the homeless. I agree, any of us could be right there next to them, pulling up a cardboard box for a chat.

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