The Lost Souls project started out in the late 1980's. As a professional photographer and native New Yorker, I've always noticed the growing amount of homelessness here in the city. To my surprise, I always find pairs, not single shoes, left abandoned.
The correlation of these Lost Souls and the homeless was apparent to me immediately.
Over the years, while living in New York and traveling to Paris, Prague and Berlin, I also noticed that there were pairs of shoes, left abandoned. At times, expensive shoes, carelessly discarded. I can not understand how people and these Lost Souls can be so discarded and forgotten.
From the 1980's until today the statistics of homelessness have increased in New York City, across the United States and across the globe. It is only increasing.
There must be a better way for those of us who have so much, to reach out farther to those in need.
For some of us, homelessness is only one paycheck away. I noticed in my own neighborhood, right in front of my door, these Lost Souls are left, throughout the city and throughout the world.
The parallel of a pair of shoe soles and the issue of homelessness has never escaped me. From the moment I started photographing these Lost Souls, what became this collection, is this ever looming crisis.
Now more than ever in our society most of us pass by the homeless and hungry without knowing. It is not that we don't care, we just don't recognize it.
This crisis can happen anyplace, anytime and everywhere.
I believe strongly there is better way to use these Lost Souls to help those people so in need and so carelessly discarded.
On a single night in 2012 there were 633,782 homeless people in the United States, including 394,379 who were homeless as individuals and 239,403 people who were homeless in families.
(*annual homeless assessment report to congress 2012)
With this book, my single intention is to raise funds and awareness of how a simple act of donating used items and purchasing this book can directly help people in need. All sales of this project are to be transferred to appropriate agencies. All profits will be donated.
I am no different from anyone else who works hard, is grateful for his shelter and wishes to give to those in need.