Another installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC
Khalifa is a homeless gentleman living on the streets of NE Washington, DC. I encountered him today sitting on a bench on the fringe of a busy Farmer's Market. He says this is a good spot for panhandling because people will sometimes give him some of the food they have bought. That did not appear to be the case today. As I watched him for awhile before I approached he was being ignored by all who passed him by.
Khalifa has been on the streets since 2009. He remembers the date because it was when he was released from a Federal Prison in Kentucky where he was serving time on a drug possession charge. He was put on a bus and returned to DC with no money and only the possessions he had accumulated in prison. He says that prison at least allowed him to get clean and sober and become a more devout Muslim. He gets by with panhandling and the occasional odd job cleaning trash from a business alleyway. He says, with a Federal prison record finding a job is almost impossible.
Khalifa is a friendly and non aggressive panhandler. Inspite of this he remains invisible to most everyone who passes him by. He agreed to be photographed in exchange for a cup of coffee and a few granola bars.