The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

Philadelphia

I took a picture of this because I was just showing the water damage. You got landlords where they don’t wanna come out and do work on your house, and then you have this. You have your ceiling falling in because you run your shower and you go to get in the tub and you have water damage and it’s coming through the ceiling.

He was saying peace to everybody. In this picture, from my son, he just wants to be a normal kid… same wants and needs. Because my son, he’s developmentally delayed from his medical problems.  He just wants to fit in. He just wants to be normal like everybody else... I figure you've gotta be gentle and you've gotta be nurturing, because the world isn’t … it’s not gentle, it’s not kind, it’s not easygoing at all. It’s hard, it’s tough, and it’ll knock you down every chance it gets, so I shelter them with as much love as I can right now.

She said, mom, can you take a picture? I feel happy right now. I want people to know that we’re like everybody else, the same needs, the same wants… we want the same chances, just like everybody else.

I was caulking the windows so this picture shows how it looked before it started, like the big cracks on the seams of the windows and then once I filled them in.  Trying to weatherize the house, getting it ready for winter to reduce  my gas bill.

I get stressed, I get overworked, bills are piling up, I feel like I’m ready to explode… I just go on my treadmill, reduce the stress. By the time I’m finished I feel a whole lot better. Try to find a constructive way to deal with everyday life without drinking, without smoking, without fighting, without cussing, beating on the kids because you're just at your wit’s end. Find something constructive and positive for yourself to do.

Try to work with what you have. So many people live beyond their means. You can't say, "I’m living in this house and it’s a piece of crap and nothing works."  Try to empower yourself to fix something or to do something. There’s things that you can do yourself just to improve the quality of life around you.

They talk about people who are on SSI and Welfare, how they’re on Welfare just because they don’t want anything out of life. People are on it because sometimes they don’t have any other option. I really wanted to show that calendar and say: Employment. Is it really possible? Do you know somebody that’s going to hire me when I need to take all those days off?

This photograph show's the many medical appointments Crystal had scheduled for her children.

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