Homeless Youth Project
Early on in this blog I wrote a number of articles on homeless youth, but lately I have written mostly about homeless veterans and also PTSD among veterans. All of these areas are under-served. If you do a tag click on “homeless youth”, you will find that despite not having written anything on our youth since August 7th, 27 of the 28 posts that are brought up by WordPress were written by me. No one seems to care about our youth and few about our homeless veterans. Well, I care.
I’ve noticed a lot of visitors lately looking at my earlier posts on homeless youth and realized that I’ve been neglecting that area. I’ve written 32 posts on homeless youth and 72 on homeless veterans, but nothing on the youth lately. I’ll try to keep this more balanced. If anyone else wants to jump in and blog about either subject you will be most welcome, since the object here is to shine as much light as possible so someone somewhere with a little clout will put up some muscle and really help.
Photo by Mike Brodie, see link below
Below is an interesting video, actually a slide show set to music and above is a shot from that video taken off of the photographer’s website. I don’t know whether the person that put it in slide show (realstraycat) with music is associated with the photographer or not, but I recognized the pictures immediately. The photographer is a homeless youth himself, having taken most of these pictures with a beat-up old Polaroid camera made in the 1970s. Simply amazing photos though.
Mike Brodie, the Polaroid Kidd, photographed these pictures which are part of a touring exhibition – “Brodie left home at 18 to travel the rails across America, and found himself spending three years photographing the friends and companions he encountered with a Polaroid SX-70 camera.
“Photography has made me what I am. It pulls me in all directions. It gives and takes friends, and pushes me to move miles and miles. My desire to photograph these people in the beginning is what led me to develop such great relationships with them; some being relationships that will last clear on ’til the day I die. I’m really lucky ’cause I never used to be this social.”
Brodie’s pictures are authentic and show the beauty of some of America’s most overlooked people. These are images captured by a member of the tribe and through a sympathetic lens.”
The music in the video is moody and sad, as it should be. The pictures are captivating, nothing risque, but telling the truth: There is nothing glamorous about being a homeless kid or homeless young adult. Moments of fun maybe, but mostly misery and danger – always danger. Freedom to eat what you can find, sleep where you dare, fight for your coat and shoes, and hope that somehow you will survive long enough to grow up.
Traveling together is a form of protection from sexual predators and other gangs, an almost communal way to share needs, food, clothes, survival, and a way to share street smarts that were learned the much too hard way.
Here is a link to some of Mike Brodie’s still photos if you want to see them in all their glory. Street kids, mostly traveling on the railroad, panhandling on the streets or hanging out in makeshift shacks in the woods. Beautiful and telling photography. My Polaroids never looked like these.
Here are some links you may be interested in: