Out From the Shadows

The first day of spring in Manhattan, the cold, endless winter seems to have eased its grip on the city and spirits are lifted. The exciting prospect of another long hot summer ahead fills us all with the strength of seasonal change for the better. Once more the homeless are slowly leaving the cramped and miserable conditions of the NYC shelters and moving back onto the warmer, familiar sidewalks they call home. During 2013 over 111,000 (yes, that’s one hundred and eleven thousand!) individual people at some point sought sanctuary in the New York shelter system. 40,000 of them were children, stunning! In fact, 1 in 3 children in this City live below the poverty line? How is that possible.

Gradually, familiar faces re-appear on the streets, more and more every day. An army of cup shakers re-emerge into a New York spring dragging their belongings with them to take up their vantage points to watch the world pass by.

Out From the Shadows

Out of the Shadows

Out of the Shadows

Out of the Shadows

Out of the Shadows

Statistics: Coalition for the Homeless

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20 thoughts on “Out From the Shadows

  1. Opps, sorry, didn’t mean to push send..minimum wage. They are not paying people enough to live. The government votes themselves RAISES but they refuse to pass a law that will allow people to survive. $3.00 more an hour would change lives. But there’s always more for them.

    • You are absolutely right. 28 percent of families in sheltered accommodation have at least one person working and 1 in 6 homeless adults have a job of some kind. A New Yorker earning the minimum wage and working 40 hours/week earns $1,280/month (before taxes). If you are looking for balance and equality then New York City is the last place to look. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. Your images are always thought provoking Anton. Very emotional. At one moment I am saddened when I look at them and the next my mind is spinning as to what I could do to make a significant difference in their lives. With that being said, I think it is an uphill battle and we must fight it by helping one person at a time and continuing to acknowledge the homeless as a population of people, human beings, just like the rest of us. They aren’t worthless. They all have stories to tell and people that have come and gone from their lives.

    Can I ask, do you ask if you can photograph them when they are awake? I’m making the assumption that the images of people sleeping were not awake for you to ask. Blessings, Robyn

    • I always ask and I am happy to walk away if they say no. I always make a point of dropping them a few dollars for their trouble, if they are asleep I leave it so they will find it when they wake. Not perfect, but I can’t think of another way of doing it. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Are there any statistics on how many died from exposure during this horrendous winter? Other than your excellent work, these folks are mostly ignored. You’ve been missed.

    • Thanks, Not that I know of, I doubt they would be that willing to publish the numbers of people found frozen on the streets. ‘Natural causes’ can be a great excuse for shirking social responsibility. Good to be posting again, the real world got in the way for a while.

  4. I dropped by when you first posted but could not “like” it then, not because I don’t like your work (you know I do), but because I don’t like that we can’t seem to take care of our own.

    I know I say this with every post. Different lyrics, same song.

  5. Every time I visit here, I am struck by the way in which your life is a study in contrasts as are the lives of your subjects. Alternate realities. I find you with a foot in two worlds. A home in neither. I know. I was a social worker in my youth. Carry on, Anton. This is important work you do.

    • Thank you George, I know what you are saying. I am a simple, working class bloke from northern England so I guess I do sit somewhere in the middle. I guess my work reflects that.

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