BY CARMEN SIERING
Even in the richest country in the world, homelessness can happen to anyone.
The causes are many — illness, addiction, job loss, foreclosure, eviction, depression, mental illness, injury, bad luck. In the recent recession, through no fault of their own, hundreds of thousands of wage earners lost their jobs, and families lost their homes. Today, there are people on the street who have jobs paying so little they cannot afford a place to live.
We read about movie stars, professional athletes, and Wall Street tycoons who squander their fortunes and end up in poverty. But we rarely gain insight into the average Joes and Josephines we see on Kirkwood, in Seminary Square Park, or gathered outside Shalom Community Center on South Walnut.
“Homeless people are just people without homes,” one formerly homeless person told us. “We’re the same as you.”
We gave cameras to poor and homeless men and women and asked them to take pictures of Bloomington as they see our town.
In all, 11 photographers took more than 5,000 images — of trees and flowers, sunrises and sunsets, buildings and street life, people and pets, and the ordinary and not-so-ordinary happenings of typical days.
We hope their pictures and their stories help you get to know some of our fellow citizens who have fallen on hard times. —the editor