photojournalism

Detroit’s hopefull homeless

"You're telling me you can't put people in these abandon buildings, to let them sleep," proclaimed Tony. Tony is a homeless man in downtown Detroit. He used to sleep in a window sill outside of the Old Wayne County building which is also abandoned. UPDATE: Tony is now involved in Occupy Detroit and has since been sleeping in a tent at the occupation and acting as a security guard for the camp site keeping away thieves and drunken troublemakers.

Tony at the abandon playground outside of the Old Wayne County building where he keeps his blankets and belongings.

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Chris S. (right) reenacts a beating Christopher P. took for not giving a homeless man a cigarette, resulting in a black eye and broken ribs. Both Chris's have been homeless in Detroit for 6 months. Christopher arrived at DTW airport from Latin American in just flip flops and shorts and found he was abandon in the city with no way out. Chris, was a victim of domestic abuse, he lost his job and his credit was ruined. Both Chris's are originally from southern California, they found each other in a Detroit shelter and have decided to stick together to make it out of the city alive. UPDATE: Chris&Chris made it on a train to Las Vegas with their bridge cars full. They got out of the cold and harsh Detroit streets. Hopefully soon they will both be back on their feet.

Christopher P. was picked up outside of Cots Shelter, 26 Peterboro Detroit, along with 9 other homeless to hand out Home Land Security information (with Mayor David Bing's image on it) to businesses around Detroit. A church van picks them up and takes them to various locations to be dropped off to hand out flyers. They only get paid $5 an hour, way under the minimum wage. They must carry 80lbs. of paper/magnets to distribute. They walk miles to do so, hitting the pavement for up to 10 hours. The day before this photo was taken, Christopher and Chris were in the van with 9 other homeless guys sitting on milk crates. The van caught fire on the highway and the driver refused to pull over right away, smoke filled the back caged area they were in, the back door locked so they could not escape. Their friend, Q, who has asthma started to suffocate and said it was the scariest moment of his life. "You couldn't see one foot in-front of you the smoke was so thick," said Chris. This is just one of the unfair labor practices and experiences he had to go through.

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