Homelessness in New York

Homelessness is a growing crisis, now worse in New York than it has ever been since the Great Depression. Skyrocketing rents, stagnant wages and most of all lack of affordable housing has led to a boom in homelessness in New York City. Nearly half of New York’s citizens are on the edge of poverty; even people in employment are increasingly facing hunger as they lack an adequate living wage.

Marcus is a typical homeless, he is of African American descent, just like almost 60 percent of the homeless population in the city. About 30 percent are Latin; homelessness is a racial matter. First he lost his girlfriend, then his apartment and lastly his job. Now Marcus Moore is one of the 75,000 homeless people trying to survive on the streets of New York City.

The city-run shelters available to the homeless currently offer temporary sleeping places for over 60,000 people, over a third of them are children. However the shelters are massively overcrowded and renowned for being unsafe, with thousands of people forced to survive on the streets.

Photo reports and articles published in Maailman Kuvalehti Magazine and Yliopisto Magazine on homelessness and lack of affordable housing in New York, and also in Image blog and Mask Magazine in New York. The project is part of my doctoral dissertation and the joint research project Learning in Productive Social Movements at the university of Helsinki, headed by professor Yrjö Engeström, funded by the Academy of Finland

During the academic year 2014−2015 I worked in New York on a joint research project on homelessness, housing rights and social movements. This photo project is done in collaboration with homeless poet, housing  & civil rights activist Marcus Moore.


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