Giving cameras to homeless citizens. What do they see?


I’m struck by the introduction to this link at Strong Towns, primarily because so few of New Albany’s civic leaders walk — unless it’s an election year.

At Strong Towns, we believe that the single best thing a local leader can do to make their place financially stronger is to take a walk with a constituent and identify little opportunities to improve your place together. This variation on that experiment—giving a homeless citizen a camera—generated some fascinating results. We hope local leaders are watching and listening.

By the way, it’s Salem in Oregon.

Salem through the eyes of a homeless photographer, by Rachel Alexander (Salem Reporter)

We gave disposable cameras to homeless people living around downtown Salem and asked them to document their lives. Anthony McGuire shows us what Christmas looks like on the streets.

Many of McGuire’s photos are nondescript – they show storefronts and buildings downtown, places he walks past regularly.

But for him, each image says something about Salem: what the growing city has prioritized, or where he can get a meal and some relief from the cold.