Yesterday, I saw Darrell for the first time in more than four years. I have known Darrell for about 15 years. He lives at 8th & P, under the parking garage vent on the corner and when it rains he moves across the street under the Capital Athletic Club’s (CAC) overhang.
I first became acquainted with Darrell in 1999 when I was working downtown and joined CAC. Up until I retired, Darrell and I would see each other on a regular basis, either at the CAC or the Sunday farmer’s market under the freeway.
It was great seeing Darrell yesterday. He is more than an acquaintance. He is the guy I would start most of my work days with. Darrell is an amazing story. He has been living on Sacramento streets for more than 25 years! Yesterday, he told me that this year he will be celebrating his 55th birthday and that he is down to seven (7) teeth. It is good to know that he spends some of his time “hanging” at Loaves & Fishes.
It’s Christmas morning and I’m at Loaves and Fishes to photograph the holiday meal. It is really cold! There is no thermostat for adjusting the heat when you are homeless and living on the street. Many homeless are beginning to stir in nearby areas, rolling up thin sleeping bags and crawling out from makeshift shelters constructed of cardboard and plastic sheeting.
The dining room doors will soon open. A hot ham and turkey dinner is being served, Christmas stockings given to guests, and all receive warm holiday greetings from Loaves and Fishes staff and volunteers. Today, the dining room also provides shelter, a short respite from the bitter cold.
I find that black and white images of the homeless speak loudly about both conditions and needs. I also feel that in some instances images provide windows to the heart, soul and minds of those photographed.