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Housing 1000: Destination Home #2

June 06, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I previously wrote about Destination Home, otherwise known as Housing 1000 a couple of weeks ago.   The mission of Housing 1000 is this:

"Housing 1000 seeks to house 1,000 chronically
homeless men and women by 2013.
"

Today there is an estimated 7,000 people who are left homeless on any given day in San Jose.  Often the homeless find temporary shelter at places such as EHC (Emergency Housing Consortium) but the key word here is "temporary."  Anyone who stays there knows they can only take things day-by-day.  To them, everyday is a lottery.  Everyday is a chance.

The life of a homeless person means there is no permanence in their lives.  Nothing is forever.  Whatever they knew before they were homeless is a memory. 

Last week I took photos of "L."  L's story is she became homeless after the sudden death of her husband.  His death was soon followed by the death of her father.  Her husband was the primary bread winner in the family so after he passed away her life savings quickly became depleted. She went into a deep depression and ultimately became homeless.  Although she has children and siblings, she chose not to burden them by becoming dependent on them.  She also felt they were having tough times themselves and she would just become another burden on them.  She chose to become homeless rather than to become a burden on her family.

She was homeless for a year and a half.  She considers herself lucky because she was always able to get a bed at the shelter.  She had two meals a day.  She was warm in the winter.  She was lucky.  But then her case manager told her about Housing 1000.  She filled out all of the paperwork and was hopeful. Before she knew it, she was picked and within a few weeks she moved into a clean, safe, one-bedroom apartment overlooking a nice lawn and trees.  She is extremely grateful to God and everyone who has helped her along the way.

She also loves to cook.  I was asked to capture some photos of her cooking.  Her incredible smile says it all:

For Calendar v2 11 by 9 300 dpi My experience with this project has been extremely rewarding.  I feel a deep emotional tie with all of the people I am meeting and photographing.  It's been an incredibly humbling experience.

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