Photo Essay: A Thanksgiving Celebration of Homeless People


Few words can express the misery of homelessness, and the despair of  homeless people. Only images can provide a glimpse of this abject life. In all societies homeless people are invisible to most. This is precisely the reason which motivated me to take photographs of  homeless people for more than three decades. The life of homeless people is more than harsh and precarious, it is almost unbearable. Homeless people have to shuffle like shadows in dark alleys, and dig through trash foraging for food to make it through another hellish night. In the urban street jungles, homeless must survive adverse weather, and fend off predators of all kinds including the police.


The photographs below are not pleasant, and they are not meant to be. All of us, anywhere in the world, should keep in mind that the fate of homeless people could become our own at any given time. We are all, to some extent, the accomplices of this silent crime of neglect. Imagine for a moment a life without a roof over your head, a life without any proper food or basic security, a life of hell on earth. In the criminal Orwellian construct of global disaster capitalism homelessness is spreading worldwide though wars. Once climate change’s impacts will reach a critical mass, nobody will be immune from it, not even the super-rich global elite. What have we done to ourselves, to the very essence of our humanity?














Editor’s Notes: All photographs by Gilbert Mercier.


2 Responses to Photo Essay: A Thanksgiving Celebration of Homeless People

  1. William W Moore November 26, 2015 at 8:18 am

    I’m a recovered alcoholic. Some of the homelessness problem is collateral damage from capitalism, but alcohol is also a big contributor.

    • Gilbert Mercier
      Gilbert Mercier November 26, 2015 at 8:53 am

      Good point in regard to alcoholism and addiction in general. The real problem right now seems to be crystal meth. However, the cuts in mental illness programs funding by the Reagan administration in the early 1980s started the homelessness epidemic. The disarray of US public education is also a very big factor. Overall, homelessness is always the symptom of a broken social system.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login