In October of 2014 I began to photograph men living at The Veterans Group, a transitional house for homeless vets. The house was located around the corner from the row home I had just moved into, on a tree lined street in Philadelphia just beyond the boundaries of Drexel University. It seemed to appear to me suddenly one day, and I knew as I looked at the rambling, mismatched structure, the men standing aimlessly and silently in the yard, and the sign that read, "Helping others help themselves," that here was a story I wanted to tell.
The project emerged out of a desire to learn more about a group of people of which I was incontestably ignorant. This is what I love about photography: it allows me to connect with people I otherwise may never have met, to learn from them, to share an aspect of their reality for a moment. The project gradually grew to include veterans outside of the house, including women working at the VA and students at Drexel. Our conversations spanned from religion to drugs to families, to loss, recovery, hopelessness, forgiveness, and understanding.
Over the next few weeks I will share some of the stories that these remarkable men and women have told me, and the lessons that I have learned from them.