Photographer Captures Homeless People As They Are / As They Dream To Be
Horia Manolache is a San Francisco-based photographer from Romania that captures homeless people as they are and as they dream to be seen. When he first arrived in San Francisco, Horia was shocked by the large number of homeless people living on the city’s streets. While working on several projects on the streets of San Francisco, he became acquainted with most of the homeless people he encountered.
“I began to be familiar with the people that I saw everyday,” says the photographer. “I began to speak with them.” he added. Horia Manolache decided he had to do something about this problem and as an Art student, he found a creative way to help out the homeless.
Thus “The Prince and the Pauper” photo series was born! Horia Manolache is currently crowdfunding his book on IndieGoGo and you can contribute to his campaign right here. His book features dual portraits of his subjects, the homeless people. It shows the homeless men and women of San Francisco as they are and as they dream to be seen.
Horia Manolache not only photographs the homeless, he also sits around and talks with them. He wants to know them. He wants to know their stories. He wants to be part of their story. A significant part of the money he is raising with his book goes out to ‘Taking It To The Streets’, an organization dedicated to empowering homeless youth in San Francisco.
“The goal of my project was to show these people in an unlikely approach and from an unlikely distance,” Horia Manolache explains in his IndieGoGo campaign. “I’m trying to change a mentality, a generalization that has made its mark on the homeless people,” the Romanian photographer added. “I hope my project will do some justice in this matter and I hope it is a part of a bigger movement.” Horia explained.
“My project is about the dreams of the people who have forgotten to dream or couldn’t dream,” he mentioned. “They reached a moment in their life when they don’t have food, water, they don’t have a place to wash themselves, the bank took their house, their mind is unsettled from war horrors or they are wanted by police for an unpaid bill. Now imagine you are in this moment and you want to dream.”
“[This is] Jennifer from the McCloud family. She came from Ireland along with her husband, but somewhere along the way they got divorced. She is very shy when she is sober.” – Horia Manolache
“Max is a Vietnam and Gulf war veteran. He’d been serving in the army for 43 years. He says that when he returned he gave up everything and went on the streets. He now has problems with alcohol and he barely walks because of health problems. He traveled a lot. A regret that he has is that he doesn’t speak with his daughter anymore.” – Horia Manolache
“Henry is a former drug and alcohol addict. He is selling newspapers now for an organization that takes care of homeless people. He is from Mississippi.” – Horia Manolache
“Mike was the first to be in this project. He comes from Ohio, he had to run from there because he used to smoke weed and the police caught him so he was arrested. He is now rebuilding his life. He has a place to stay and he started to work, thanks to an organization from San Francisco.” – Horia Manolache
“Bill had to run away from the state he was living in. The reason he had to leave seems unjust but his alternative was jail. He wished to send these photos to his mother because she has Alzheimer’s and in this way she will recognize him when [returns].” – Horia Manolache
“McKayas lived very close to Haight Street when he was a kid. He is proud that his parents were part of the hippie movement in the ‘60s. He lived in Mexico, Hawaii, Indonesia, Panama, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Peru and he plans to visit every country in the world.” – Horia Manolache
“Pops was in the Vietnam war also. He was an engineer, he started to do drugs and he lost his job. He was addicted for 12 years and he was in a rehab clinic. Unfortunately, he is now an alcoholic.” – Horia Manolache
“This photo is somehow symbolic for me, for the times we live in. His identity was stolen, his girlfriend stole his wallet, his credit score went down and so on till he [became] homeless. He realized that his life was so overwhelming -…] he didn’t have a moment to stop and think what his dreams were.” – Horia Manolache
“I met Frank in Hunters Point, San Francisco. He lived in a self-made trailer along with his wife and her dog. A big concern for him was that the police will take his house. He says he was raised with a butler but drugs brought him here. He was working in constructions when I met him. We had to photograph him on the street and on a building site. His wife wished to be a ballerina but because she was overweight, she felt uncomfortable to pose for this project. Frank is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met.” – Horia Manolache
“Tammy is a star on Height Street in San Francisco. If she can’t bring a smile to your face, then nobody will. Her biggest pain is that her grandmother and her first husband took her kids away from her.” – Horia Manolache