Watch this CBC video here that features the experience of, seventeen year old, photographer Leah Denbok who takes portraits of homeless people.
Leah states these are her two project goals:
- “To shine a spotlight on the plight of homelessness”
- “To humanize homeless people, who are often seen as subhuman”.
Leah says people are often curious to know what her experience is like because,
“they’ve never stopped to talk to the person sitting on the corner of the street, they just walk by.”
Through Leah’s work, she meets people who come from many different backgrounds, usually facing adversity, and she’s reminded that their life stories are just as important as anybody else’s.
Leah’s work is inspired by her mother’s story, when her mother was homeless at three years old when she was found on the streets in Calcutta, India. Her mother was later adopted, and her mother’s upbringing has resonated with Leah on how she views the topic of homelessness.
Leah meets homeless people who have experience with death, drug addictions, and mental health issues with no support network; and they find themselves in difficult situations. Leah is a firm believer in equality, and that people shouldn’t be on the streets because of their life circumstances.
Leah’s book called, “Nowhere to Call Home” features her portraits and stories of the homeless, and all of the proceeds from her book will be donated to homeless shelters.
- At least 235,000 Canadians experience homelessness in a year
- 35,000 Canadians are homeless on a given night
- 50,000+ Canadians experience hidden homelessness
- Almost 1 in 3 are women
- Close to 1 in 5 are youth.
Sources: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness