Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Searching For Joe

Over the last few years I have taken a number of photographs of homeless people. Mostly the homeless people of my hometown Newcastle upon Tyne. It was never my intention to document homelessness; it just happened via a mixture of chance encounters with interesting people. One of the most engaging homeless characters I have met recently is Joe. After taking the initial photos below I have seen him a few times and stopped to chat with him and provide him with some food and a warm drink. 

See 'Searching' on flickr here © Anthony Dorman

Due to a set of random contacts I am about to look specifically for a homeless person willing to pose for a book cover for a novel written about an ex-homeless persons experiences of life on the street. Joe may or may not be a suitable face but I will be out again tomorrow searching for him to see if he will help me in my quest. 

Despite his circumstances Joe offered a cheery chat and happily posed for his photograph. He offered to help me locate the homeless people of Newcastle if I wanted and we had a good chat about photography, the weather (as you do when you are British) and other things. I saw strangers look at me with some kind of mixture of shock and disgust when I shook Joe's hand when we finished chatting. I am always amazed by how pathetic and prejudiced people can be towards the homeless. I don't know Joe's full story yet but I do know that he spoke to me with a friendly, gentle and honest manner I wish was more common in the more fortunate population.

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