I’ve known Steve Bohnstedt for years; I first met him when I worked at the Quincy Herald Whig, where he was a photographer. He’s incredibly passionate about his work, and talented, to boot.
After I left the Whig to go work for another part of the Quincy Media company, I ended up working with him again. This time, he had a unique project that he was doing on his own; the Quincy Illinois Poverty Project. I got the opportunity to help him on the web front; it was nothing special, just helping him with getting his content up. The work I did, however, allowed me to become intimately familiar with each and every story listed on the site.
He left his job at the Whig to pursue this, and it is spectacular what he has accomplished. A little before he and I worked on the site, I had a similar idea, but let me tell you.. It would have paled in comparison to the amazing quality and detail of what he has done.
Quincy, like pretty much any place, in the US, has starting examples of poverty. Most of us rarely notice it; we either avoid the locations where it is commonly exhibited, or don’t even notice those that are suffering among us.
Back when I was a busker, I met a number of homeless people. You can’t help but make a connection with them when you’re a street performer; you gravitate toward each other, sharing stories and experiences. The most important part that most seem to forget about the homeless or impoverished is that they are human, too. They have experiences, pain, and a story worth hearing.
Steve has worked to share all that, and he continues to do so in a fashion that really emphasizes the human aspect of poverty.
Check out his kickstarter; he’s funding a book, and he’s getting a lot of traction. I want to see this come out, and you should, too. If you care about poverty and homelessness, you need to support people like Steve who are bringing it to the forefront of their community. What he has done is not just shine a light on poverty and homelessness, but also help solve so many issues related to it.
The issue of poverty and homelessness won’t go away just because you ignore it. You need to get active, and do what you can to help. Be like Steve.