Several years ago, professional photographer Charlie Abrahams volunteered at Pine Street Inn, and was so struck by our mission that he generously offered to partner with us on a project to capture portraits of guests in our shelters. Charlie worked tirelessly to create Portraits of Humanity, capturing the emotions, reality and hope of men and women struggling with homelessness. Four of the portrait subjects who moved into permanent housing allowed Charlie to follow their story and photograph them after they had moved beyond shelter
Matthew was photographed as part of this moving series, and later moved into permanent housing.
This is his story.
"My journey to housing has been hard. I was struggling at another shelter in Boston, and I came to Pine Street. I was there just two weeks and they told me that my name came up for housing, so I said yes.
About my place now, I’m grateful to be there but it’s not always easy. I love my room. I’ve got three windows, and I can see who is coming and going, and see the buses.
It’s in a nice area; I can’t complain. I’m walking distance to the supermarket, restaurants, hospitals, pharmacies.
It was different than I expected. I was hoping for a studio or a one bedroom, but I walked in and saw that the room was big, and had three windows, fridge, dresser and recliner. I can’t complain. I was a little disappointed, but I took it. It is housing.
My experience as a homeless individual was hard, but now I have housing. I had a tough time adjusting to being in a shelter in the beginning. Then I became friends with other guests. We talked every day. I’m really grateful that I came to Pine Street."
For more information on Charlie's work, visit https://charlieabrahamsphotography.com/