We’ve all heard the phrase “putting a face on homelessness” countless times. The idea is simple: provide some flesh and blood to let the rest of us grasp the larger problems of poverty.
It would be so easy to dismiss it as another tired cliche if it weren’t powerfully truthful. Consider “Lulu’s Story,” a multimedia piece on an 18-year-old Portland girl who has been homeless since losing her mother at the age of 12.
“Lulu’s Story” is part of a showcase of work on teenage homelessness at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland. Since August, Salt has had an exhibit on Do1Thing.org, a national project that paired photographers with homeless youths around the country earlier this year.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because local photographers and Salt students took part in the project in February.
Photographer Alexandra Daley-Clark oversaw the project locally, and co-produced “Lulu’s Story” with Suzi Piker (an online producer for PressHerald.com and a Salt alumnus). It premiered Thursday in a special event at Salt.
The event, called “Do1Thing.org: An evening with the creators,” showcased photography from the Do1Thing project and a talk by Najlah Feanny Hicks, co-founder of Do1Thing.org, as well as Daley-Clark, Piker and Lurlene “Lulu” Dame, the subject of the piece.
For two weeks, Daley-Clark got to know Dame and followed her around, capturing her daily life around Portland. She got connected to Dame through the Preble Street Teen Center in Portland, which serves kids ages 14-20.
Dame, at 18, has lost most of her family. She found herself homeless around the same time most teenagers were entering high school. Her father, she says in the multimedia piece, is an alcoholic. The only choice left was to get out.
“Seeing a lot of people die, the last thing I want is to be in contact with someone who is killing themself (sic) slowly,” she says.
READ the entire article here:
Learn more about the photographer here:
Learn more about the sound designer here: