This is Harvey

Another installment of “The Invisible Ones” of Washington, DC.

I met Harvey on a busy morning outside the China Town/Gallery Place metro station in Washington, DC. He was lying on the sidewalk propped up on one elbow asking for spare change. It is worth noting that this image was taken on a warm Spring day with temperatures in the 70s, so Harvey’s winter parka and hat tended to put people off a bit. Harvey says he’s been homeless on and off for about 15 years. This most recent period of time has been for more than 2 years after losing his job with a construction company that did demolition work. Harvey is not very forthcoming with the details of his life and won’t talk about family or what factors may be keeping him on the street. One thing that is for certain is that he is terrible at panhandling inspite of the large amount of pedestrian traffic walking by. He did make one comment that may shed some light on his mental state. I asked him how the panhandling  was going and he said that, “people are afraid of him because of his previous job with the demolition company.” “When I tell them I used to blow up buildings they get afraid.” Harvey was agreeable to having his photograph taken in exchange for a food voucher and a bottle of water. Inspite of his odd appearance and very close proximity to hundreds of passersby, Harvey is indeed invisible.

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