Photographer Documents The “Addicted” Side Of Philadelphia
This photographer documents the “Addicted” side of Philadelphia and reveals how life on the streets looks like. These photos are mainly shot on Kensington Avenue in North Philadelphia, a 3-mile long street infamous for drug abuse and prostitution.
Jeffrey Stockbridge started this project, called Kensington Blues, where he decided to document how people live with addiction on the streets of Philadelphia. He shot the series between 2008 and 2014, featuring intimate portraits of people doing drugs, prostitution and generally, struggling with day to day life on the streets.
“The goal of my work is to enable people to relate to one another in a fundamentally human way, despite any commonly perceived differences”- Jeffrey wrote on his website. “I rely on the trust and sincerity of those I photograph to help me in this process.”
Al lives in a house off Kensington Avenue without electricity or running water. He sometimes rents his upstairs bedroom to prostitutes in need of a private location for engaging in sex and drug use.
Sarah: “I’m 55 years old, I have a master’s degree in psychology, but after my husband, mother and father, died in a car accident two years ago, I lost my whole family, my career, one, my health, all in one go.”
“We out here so we can get money so we has somewhere to rest our heads. We look out for each other. If I can’t get money, she gets it, and whatever money we get we share…We need quick money cause we need somewhere to sleep every day. I mean, trust me, we don’t want to be out here doing this. This is the last thing I want to do. But I do what I have to do to take care of my sister. Cause she’s all I got and I’m all she’s got.”
She told that she often sleeps on the streets during the day to protect herself at night.
They still have children, whom they gave away to a special agency for their protection. “We gave the kids away, people say it’s a selfish act, but I think it’s the best I could do for their better future,” Rachel said.
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Rachel: “I’ve been raped, and, you know, almost killed really”
She is 25 years old, working in the sex industry since she was 18.
A local resident, at the time she was 41. Carol told the photographer that she had been doing heroin for 21 years and it became “the love of her life”.
The veins in Sarah’s arms were no good for injection, so she asked Dennis for the drug to be injected to her neck.
Be sure to follow the entire Kensington Blues photo series on Jeffrey Stockbridge’s official website, right here.