This is Peter
Another installment of “The Invisible Ones” of Washington, DC
I met Peter during the busy morning rush hour near Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. He was sitting quietly in front of a not yet open store front passively panhandling without much success despite the crowds of people who were passing by. Peter tells me he’ll have to move on before the store opens because the police will be coming around to make sure that he does. Peter has been living on the streets of DC for 12 years. His downward spiral into homelessness began when he wife was murdered 16years ago. Following that tragedy, he became heavily involved with addictive drugs and the petty crimes associated with his addiction. He spent 3 years in prison and upon release became homeless and has been so ever since. Prior to his wife’s death Peter was employed in the construction trades but given his age and ill health that type of work is no longer an option, so he panhandles to get by and lives off of the kindness of others. Peter is fairly typical of DC’s aging homeless population with few prospects for long-term stability. Peter agreed to this photograph and to be a part of the Invisible Ones project. If you see Peter or someone like him on your way to or from work, stop for a moment and have a conversation. Maybe ask if there is anything you can do to help. I promise that the both of you will be better for having had that experience.