My Art Photo Journal on "Cardboard Box City" Raising Homelessness Awareness
Last night I went to an event at the First Presbyterian Church in Burbank called the “Cardboard Box City.” It was organized by the group “Family Promise of East San Fernando Valley.” According to this organization 40% of the homeless in the United States are families with Children. This event was a fund raiser to raise money to help the families in need. Space was rented so donors could build box homes and sleep over night or others could virtually rent a space by donation. See this article for more information: http://www.cal-pac.org/news/detail/57
I attended the event to take pictures. I thought to myself, maybe I can take photos and use them for my class, but also find other ways to use them. I’d like the world to see this event. We all need a sense of purpose and a sense that our lives matter. Sometimes we push onto others too much of our own insecurities. We each have to live with ourselves right. Yet sometimes I think we don’t realize how our actions can impact on others. We can start something that leads to another living in a box. We need ask questions and not assume sometimes. Open are minds and realize that the beauty of being alive is not making assumptions but holding on to seeing the world through the eyes of a child. That is what strikes me about this event. Imagine your first memory of a home being a box. I have found a place I want to call home, though I’d like to live in a better apartment for reasons of my own. Just a little better.
Oops. I digress. I’m actually terrified I may end up homeless. I want to act and work on sets and that is why I beat cancer. This is my home. I love art and the industry and the weather in California. And regardless of the changes, this is still the place for me to be. I’ve found too many opportunities for myself, even though most are not paid. I am not perfect. I think you agree since I have found myself being an ego and talking about me. HAHA…. But I keep trying. I wanted to shoot these pictures to remind myself that there are people who feel like me. There are good people who want to make the world better and do not judge a person by their status or money. Even the smartest people can end up at rock bottom. Luck can run out for anyone at any time. We lose people not from lack of ability or intelligence, but a lack of HOPE. The kind of hope that feeds life and gives life and drives a person to want to get themselves off the ground and go forward. It is hard to do that when you have reached the point of living in a box. And don’t shirk someone their dreams. You don’t know what another person is capable of and I know I can act and do things others would not guess. Forget about the stereotypes and open your eyes to possibilities. Cause I wonder how many are homeless because someone crushed a dream. Dreams are hope and we all need them. So don’t step on mine, and be willing to strive for yours. Live your life. If we let each other grow and do our best at what we love, the world would be a place with maybe few unhappiness, and maybe even a better ecnomy based on the marginal utility of the individual and not the oppression of any one group.
Is bad luck a persons fault? A car accident leaves a father paralyzed and disability does not pay enough for rent, food, car insurance, internet, and everything the guy even needs to keep a roof over himself and get work, let alone feed his kids. Part of being alive is recognizing we are all not the same and an organic life is a changing life, and for some not for the good. What can we do to make everything better? Any steps we can. For me it was to take pictures. If I don’t sell any of them, I can still give a copy to the organization and insist they give me credit for them as a condition of use. We all need to know we have meaning, even my ego needs to feel needed and to know I did something in the world. When I pray, I pray alone for the bible tells the story of a man who was so proud he lost everything, while the humble man grew rich. However, I am not perfect. I suffer the sin of pride. I recognize it. I write about it. And I move on and hope to find a way to be a better person, and less proud, another day. I am also not a part of any organized religion. That story from the Bible has just always had an impact on me. There is something in the Universe that caused life to happen. It is a miracle we may never truly understand.
In the back of my head I am reminded today that I could be the one in the box someday. It does not take much to destroy someones life. And we all assume the person next to us is capable and willing to do what ever it takes to survive. Sometimes though we forget how much life is reliant on other life. One person needs to approve another to survive. I think more and more we need to see how much our lives and actions can change others destiny. Don’t demolish a house of hope. Build a home of hope for another and help nurture a another soul’s will to survive.
(Pleease note all photos on this page were taken my me and are owned by me. Copyright Laura Tull 2009.)