Video: Housing the Homeless in Washington

Earlier this spring I did a video for a client’s online annual report. The video — really a compilation of photos and interviews with a narration track — has been posted to the their YouTube channel. This was an exciting project because I got to use my ethnographer’s toolkit to tell a great story. The focus of the video is how organizations in Washington create supportive housing for the city’s homeless. Supportive housing programs provide chronically homeless people with a safe and affordable place to live along with access to services to help them get jobs, counseling, and other things necessary to re-integrate them into society. I met and photographed several formerly homeless women in one of Washington’s supportive housing apartment buildings and then I went to photograph homeless camps under Georgetown bridges. One woman who did not want to be photographed told me why the bridges were safer than homeless shelters and storefronts. Another woman proudly showed me around her apartment while explaining why she was reading Bill Gates’s book, Business @ the Speed of Thought. I would never have predicted ten years ago that I would be documenting Washington’s homeless people and the programs meant to help them.