While community leaders work towards solutions to Dallas’s homeless situation, a visitor to the city brought his own approach: trying to simply tell the stories of some of the people living on the street.
Justin Doering of Boise, Idaho spent the weekend in the city visiting homeless people and offering them a meal on him in exchange for their story.
It’s a campaign the recent college grad is taking across the country called Fifty Sandwiches.
“That’s kind of the point to find these people who don’t have a voice and give them a voice,” said Doering.
He raised funds for the project through online kickstarters and sponsorships and has started a webpage to tell some of the stories he’s collected.
Eventually he plans to compile 50 of them into a book to show the variety and diversity of people in the homeless population.
“I started off this project trying to get a collective face to homelessness and I’m realizing pretty quickly, that’s not going to happen,” he said while visiting the homeless camp beneath I-30 at Haskell Avenue.
Doering’s met people who became homeless after turning to drugs, losing jobs, losing family members, and a wide variety of other reasons.
He said through the stories he hopes to get people looking at the homeless less as an over-arching situation and more as individuals who have had their own journeys.
“And the idea of it is to try to show that there’s more to homelessness than just being homeless. I’m learning the diversity behind it is just incredible,” he said.
Doering will continue meeting with homeless in Dallas through Monday before heading to his next stop.