Monday, March 21, 2011

From Homelessness to Home: The Wright Family

My newest social issue project involves photographing families who were once homeless and who now have a home. The families I plan to photograph have gone through Family Promise, a local non-profit organization that offers help to families with children who are experiencing homelessness. Their website states that they have an 80% success rate of "homeless to home transition". The purpose of the organization as stated on their website is: "Our interfaith, nonsectarian network brings the faith community together to help our community’s families regain housing, independence and dignity in a time of need." While in the program, the families stay at local churches who cooperate with Family Promise. Volunteers from each church spend time hanging out with and feeding the family in the evenings during their stay. In the daytime, the families search for jobs, attend school, or spend time at the Family Promise "day house" doing tasks such as laundry or using the computer.

I had the pleasure to meet and photograph the Wright family this past Friday in the home they've had for just a couple of months. During my interview with them, they both discussed the benefits of the program as well as the difficult times. After their move from Wyoming, the couple spoke of the love and friendliness they experienced from Bozeman residents, particularly the volunteers they met through Family Promise. Heather told me of countless times she was moved to tears at the unconditional love they felt from volunteers during the program.

Meet Jason, Heather, & Hailey Wright: 

Click below to hear from Heather on why they chose enter the Family Promise program to help them get back on their feet (this is a very short raw & unedited clip from the interview I conducted last Friday):

Of the two family portraits, which do you like better and why?


Juliette said...

I like the first one better. Just because you get to actually see the house and also because I feel like it's a more 'raw' photo, maybe more real.

Tessa said...

I love the first image because of how the family is placed in front of their new home. I am also a fan of the second one because it demonstrates the inside of their home, which is intimate and tells a lot about a family BUT the table cuts off their feet, and I don't know if I can get past that. SO the composition of the first is great, I would go with that one. I agree with Juliette's comments as well. Great start to a great project Leslie!

Leslie McDaniel said...

Thanks guys...good points. Tessa - didn't think of the table as an issue, now I'm not sure. ;) I have several variations of that one and chose it as a "contender" because there are so many details in the house that tell about them. Plus, there's the photograph on the wall of them when they were younger. Thanks for commenting!