The PICTURE THIS Project, underwritten by HomeAid Houston, a non-profit, empowers homeless people to tell their story through photography. Working through Houston’s homeless agencies, disposable cameras are distributed to their clients and they are asked to document their lives over a period of 5 days. The first agency to participate in this creative project is SEARCH Homeless Services. Picture This is designed to educate the public on what homeless men, women and families see and experience in their daily challenges. “Through PICTURE THIS, cameras were given to about 40 individuals being served by SEARCH,” explained Terry Swenson, HomeAid photographer and writer and creator of the project. “The photographs are impactful as they show intimate moments in the life of those struggling to improve their situation. They capture street life, relationships and some very moving and sometimes startling images and situations.” The photographs are reviewed and the ones that tell a piece of the photographer’s story are enlarged and added to the collection. The first exhibit of the SEARCH Homeless Services series is currently on public display by invitation of the Mayor’s office at Houston’s City Hall.
A second collection is underway that captures the daily lives of Houston’s homeless U.S. Veterans. The De George at Union Station and United States Veterans Initiative are working with PICTURE THIS by giving access to their residents or, in some cases, veterans who are still living on the street. A third collection is also being developed that highlights the challenges of runaway teens.
Contact Bette Moser, executive director of HomeAid Houston for more information. C: 713-256-7120; O: 281-970-8970 ext. 145 or Terry Swenson C: 281-382-9977.