Revealing Portraits of the Homeless in Philadelphia

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“I don’t need a preamble about the system,” Philadelphia-based poet and photographer Charlie O’Hay tells us. His project Everyone Has a Name began unintentionally when he picked up street photography and realized just how much his city had changed. He recognized some of the homeless people who he encountered. As a recovering alcoholic, O’Hay says that he had a bad time of it himself once; no stranger to pan-handling, he was saved from the shelter system by the good grace of his friends with extra couches and a few night jobs. After nearly two decades, he wants to do his part to humanize the homeless of his city, if only by passing along their names. Click through to meet a handful of his subjects.

James. Photo credit: Charlie O’Hay

John Patrick Kelly. Photo credit: Charlie O’Hay

Buchan. Photo credit: Charlie O’Hay

David and Scrapps. Photo credit: Charlie O’Hay

David, Tommy and friend. Photo credit: Charlie O’Hay

David. Photo credit: Charlie O’Hay

Ed. Photo credit: Charlie O’Hay

Laura. Photo credit: Charlie O’Hay

Michael. Photo credit: Charlie O’Hay

George. Photo credit: Charlie O’Hay