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Boston photographers and artists: Help-Portrait needs you!

They say that your calling is where your greatest passion meets the world’s greatest need.

Everyday, we walk down the streets of Boston and see homeless people. They sleep on the steps of the churches and T-stations and in the shadows of downtown buildings. And we walk past them. To most, they are no longer people as they blend into the dirt, gray cement jungle of city life.Sometimes we give them change or food, but really, we still dehumanize them because we can’t see the person, the hurt, under the rags and wrinkles, dirt and despair.

Help-Portrait wants to change all of that.

Help-Portrait was started by Jeremy Cowart, a photographer who wanted to use his calling to help the poor. So he started to treat them as people, and not as a problem. Jeremy got together with some people and arranged to have some homeless people have their portraits taken, with makeovers and everything. And the results were amazing. Some of these people had never had a portrait before, and others had never been made to feel so special.

Now, Jeremy wants us to do the same in our own communities.

Help-Portrait is a movement that strives to mobilize photographers to use serve the homeless and poor in their communities using the skills they were blessed with. Here’s how it works:

  1. Find someone in need.
  2. Take their portrait.
  3. Print their portrait.
  4. Deliver the portrait to that person.

There are two groups in Boston organizing to come together on 12/12, the day of the nationwide event. They are”Boston, MA” and “Boston Photo Mob“. I’m a member of both, and they could both use your help. You don’t have to be a photographer (I’m certainly not). You really just need a heart for the community.

I sent a tweet out about this on Friday and got no response back. So disheartening. During the holiday season, people are so eager to give coats and canned food to the homeless, and consider that “giving back”. While it does help, it only looks to cure one symptom of homelessness. Why not try treating poor people as people? Give the homeless back their humanity.



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November 2009
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