For my Studio class’ final project I decided to go around Boulder, CO, asking transient folks if they were willing to sell me their signs. 100% of the people I asked agreed, delighted to be able to share their story. Some stories were more poignant then others: some suffered from drug addiction and others were merely trying to mitigate the costs of traveling. I went back to take photos of the places where I met them to mark the location where our interaction happened.
It was a simple but powerful project that helped me understand the difficulties that transient people face and the hardships that they are enduring. I also had a glimpse into the reality of the affordable housing crisis in our community. But more importantly, what stuck with me the most is the sense of humanity in all of the interactions I had. We often see people asking for spare change but we (or at least I) hardly ever interact with them. At the end of the day, we are all trying to share our story with someone who will listen. It was a reminder to talk less and listen more.