A new book from Transition Projects here in Portland:
I encourage every Portland area resident to get a copy of this book. Back in the mid-90s I served on the staff of Transition Projects. Purchasing this book will support a good cause.
This book confronts homelessness by asking formerly homeless persons a simple question: Where did you sleep? Although we should not have been surprised, we found the replies alarming, jarring and discomforting.
In the spring of 2007, we asked the residents of Transition Projects shelters to show us the places they slept while living on the streets. Equipped with just disposable cameras and the willingness to show us their truth, they delivered the photographs in this book in a matter of days. The project was intended as a temporary exhibit, but we quickly realized that this project needed to be memorialized for a wider audience. And we heard from the public—even from people who have long been associated with homeless issues—that these photographs tell, in a way that words cannot, about the need for a safe place to sleep for everyone. We determined then that the photos must live on in a permanent form, and so this book was born.
This project was organized by Transition Projects, a social service agency whose mission is to serve people's basic needs as they transition from homelessness to housing. We have memorialized the photos and essays into this book to commemorate this 40th year of the agency's operations.
"There's a starkness-a sense of dehumanization and otherworldliness captured by these photographs that expresses the alienation that the chronically homeless feel on a daily basis. The most basic thing we can do to help the homeless is to reach out to them and acknowledge them as fellow human beings. The worst thing we can do is pretend that they don't exist." -Ted Wheeler, Multnomah County Chair
Where I Slept features contributions from:
- Portland Mayor Sam Adams
- Hon. Jeff Cogen
- The Rev. Chuck Currie
- Hon. Nick Fish
- Hon. Deborah Kafoury
- Gretchen Kafoury
- Governor Ted Kulongoski
- Hon. Randy Leonard
- Erik Sten
- Hon. Ted Wheeler
- And many others
The first edition of Where I Slept is sponsored by Windermere Real Estate.