Collingwood Photographer Changes The Perspective On Homelessness

Leah's 4th Book Highlights How The Pandemic Affected The Homeless

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Leah den Bok is a photographer from Collingwood who travels the world photographing people experiencing homelessness and recording their stories. She has compiled this work into a book series called Nowhere to Call Home – Photographs and Stories of People Experiencing Homelessness that has attracted worldwide attention.

Leah published the fourth volume of her series earlier this year. The book highlights stories of how the pandemic affected people experiencing homelessness.

“We took a break for a couple months because we were all instructed to stay home and social distance … but then we ran into this article that really highlighted how the pandemic was affecting people experiencing homelessness and it just opened our eyes up to how horrible it really was.”

Even though Leah and her father have worked with people experiencing homelessness for years, they realized the unimaginable was happening. So they headed back out to the streets to record the stories. They wanted to show just how much the pandemic was affecting people experiencing homelessness.

Leah explains that the lives of people experiencing homelessness “were already difficult before the pandemic but through the pandemic became almost unbearable … some people didn’t even know what the pandemic was.”

RELATED: How Leah’s work helped save the lives of a young couple in Toronto …

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Leah’s goal is to change how people see homelessness and humanize those who struggle with it. And she’s achieving that goal with people sharing “they can no longer walk by someone on the street and think that they chose to be there or judge them” after reading her book.

Like her previous books, Leah will donate the profits of the fourth volume to local homeless shelters.

And while things get better for us, Leah explains …

“It’s really important for us to remember that [things] might not get better for people experiencing homelessness. It’s a really important time for us all to think about what’s happening and to push that if there’s more affordable housing out there, the homelessness will end.”

To learn more about Leah den Bok and how her working is helping create change, visit her website Humanizing The Homeless.

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