Giving A Voice To Homeless Children Through Photography

Every person's story is worth celebrating

I’m only young at heart, but I still remember what it was like coming home from school.

I remember hopping off the bus, going inside, grabbing a Capri-Sun and doing my homework on our comfy couch, while Darkwing Duck played on the TV.

My mom got home an hour later, started cooking a tasty dinner, and a couple of hours later, I was crawling into my own bed in my own room.

You probably have similar memories of being a kid in school. But in our own city, hundreds of kids have no place to call home when they leave school.

Our friends at Family Promise here in Gainesville are passionate about one specific aspect of homelessness.

“We talk about homelessness all the time, but the image of homelessness is like a man on the side of the street with a sign, and nobody really thinks about kids and how it affects them.” – Shari Jones

They’re focused on giving homeless, school-age kids a safe environment and a semblance of a normal, healthy childhood.

“I took a picture of the goal because it symbolized an escape from reality. That day me and my brothers went outside to play and it helped us forget the fact that we were homeless and also helped us bond more as brothers.” – James, age 16

The Project

For two years now, Fracture has had the honor of helping Family Promise with a photography project they do with some of the children that helps them share their story and perspective while learning about photography.

The executive director at Family Promise is Jayne Moraski, and it’s clear she’s passionate and committed to what she does. And the chance to empower the kids to express themselves through photography was one she was excited to try. This year they were able to use the Snapshot Project from 100Cameras.

“[This program is] a series of five weeks of getting the kids to learn about photography, how to take and frame a photo, and then actually some deeper things about who they are and what this experience has meant to them.”

“This picture of the clouds represents peace. That day it was quiet and peaceful. There wasn’t a single argument.” – James, age 16

Shari Jones, the case manager for Family Promise, sees the potential for this kind of project to really help homeless school-age kids to grow:

“Unfortunately, the kids that grow up in that environment for a long period of time, they learn to suppress their wants or their needs in order to better cope with the situation that they’re living in. So, the photo voice project let them express themselves and let them see that it’s okay, like, nobody’s gonna judge you. [Those] feelings are very powerful, especially through imagery.”

Doing our part

We provide Family Promise with large prints of the kids’ photos to use as a gallery to help raise awareness and support for the organization’s good work and help share the stories of these remarkable kids who are dealing with more stress daily than most of us ever have to face.

“I took the picture of the three trees because it symbolizes me and my brothers… always standing next to each other when we were homeless in the program. We were always there for each other.” – Eric, age 13

Truthfully, our role in this project was minor compared to the great work that Jayne, Shari, and the team do year-round as a part of Family Promise. The chance to work with them reminded me how grateful I am to be a part of a company and a brand that cares about the community.

“This was a chance to give the kids a voice, a chance for them to be kids again…” – Jayne Moraski


Learn more about the work Family Promise does right here.

About The Author

Drew Allen

Besides being the managing editor of this blog, I'm also a drummer, a husband, and a father, not necessarily in that order. I love good stories, and great design, and I probably quote the Office more than I should but less than I could.

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