These photographs of homeless people were taken over a 5-yer period in San Francisco. Working with a small non-profit agency, Care Through Touch Institute, our goal was to document some of their clients. This project proved to be empowering for these people, and also very humbling for those of us involved. Interestingly, all of these folks were thrilled to participate, tell their story and have their photo taken.
The first image is the front cover of the book created from this project - Care Through Touch: Caring in the Margins. It's a beautiful book with wonderful photos, the history of the neighborhood and the work of the agency. Best of all are the intimate stories of peoples lives.
The agency's mission is to care and educate poor and marginalized people by providing massage therapy and holistic health practices that transform body, mind and spirit.
My experience photographing these people was profound. It was hard not feeling a sense of compassion knowing some of these people were dying in hospice, some living with debilitating diseases, others living on the streets, some were recovering addicts, and many had mental disorders.
While many of these homeless people were from broken homes and uneducated, others were once nurses, businessman, and educators. It made me realize how fragile life can be!
© John A. Verner - Clear Lotus Photography