The Inherent Worth and Dignity Project began two years ago with a simple request, “Could you please do some portraits of the homeless men who come to our church for a meal and an overnight stay once a month?”
The request came from the Interfaith Homeless Emergency Shelter Program (I-HELP) in Monterey County. In a set rotation, local faith based organizations provide dinner and shelter to the 25 homeless men in the program each night. The program has never missed a night of food and shelter in all those years.
Our intent is to find the ‘inherent worth and dignity’ of each man and portray and communicate those fine qualities for all to see.
These portraits are our effort to look at homeless men “through another peephole.” It’s our intent to weaken the stereotype of homelessness and build empathy that might be converted to better public policy and more effective support.
We are transformed by doing the work. The moments are precious and the interactions are breathtaking. The self-esteem of the men rises, and viewers most often say, “How could this man be homeless?”