This piece tells the story of a homeless man I met in a faith-based shelter in NYC. He asked that I not use his real name or image, so I’ll call him Eric. Eric lost his job at a hotel and, because of the economy, was unable to find another one. One day, after going through his entire savings and with no way to pay rent, he put a few things in a backpack and closed the door to his apartment. Later that night, he found himself riding a city bus with no destination in mind. Finally, after hours of riding the bus, he found the courage to go to one of the city’s drop-in centers which (after months of sleeping on a chair) led him to a cot in the basement of a synagogue. One year later, he is still sleeping in that basement, looking for a job and a way back into a place he can call home. This is, of course, a very short version of a much more complicated story, but I pulled only short snapshots of the story to create this piece.
Each layer in this piece (which is 12″ x 12″) shows one step in his journey. In the bottom layer, we see him close the door on his old life. In the next, the city bus drives him in circles until he is ready for the final step; the cot in a faith-based shelter. I hope that there is soon another layer in Eric’s story – a new job, a new apartment, and a new start to his life.