After a divorce and a lost job, Joe found out that the people he “thought would be there in hard times weren’t.” With no one willing to offer a helping hand, he entered the NY shelter system. But even that failed him when he missed his appointments due to a full time job that didn’t allow him to make it to the drop in center during normal business hours. In order to reflect this feeling of nowhere to go and no one to help,the background is made up of many closed doors.
When entering the shelter system, you are only allowed one small suitcase – all your possessions must fit into it since nothing can be left at the shelter site during the day and you have to bring it with you wherever you go. Joe also explained that he is very concerned with maintaining a tidy appearance. He irons his shirts every morning and encourages the other men in the shelter to do the same. I therefore placed an iron next to the suitcase and some carefully folded shirts falling into place.
Also included is a pile of books. Joe is an avid reader, always keeping up with the latest books and devouring spiritual books that help him keep things in perspective. The last image in the piece is of the necklace his 9-year-old daughter gave him. He has not taken it off since she gave it to him, so I thought it was important to include it – hanging from the edge of the suitcase.
This piece is an inside panel of Temporary Shelter.
32″ x 90″