Person First Project – Reaz


Person First Project is a photo blog that seeks to give those currently or formerly experiencing homelessness in D.C. the chance to share their stories. In doing this, we hope to reduce the barriers that separate people in D.C. and spark a dialogue. The Person First Project aims to connect us – and to make us all feel a bit more human.

“I like all my poems because they’re my writing. It’s a form of therapy for me – a form of escapism. I can escape from my reality, which is this. With words you can’t really explain everything, but when you put it down into structured words – then you can think.

My sister knows that I’m staying around here but she doesn’t know where. A lot of homeless people are like that, they don’t want their family members to worry about them. I’m healthy, I’m getting fed, I’m not sick. Mentally I may be a little bit… it’s a lot of mental stress. I do get depressed, I won’t deny it. I get stressed out and depressed. This kind of situation where you see the same faces every day and you see the same situation – it’s very depressing. The overall mood in shelters – there are a lot of sick, depressed, unhealthy people walking around. And when you see that every day it depresses you. Sometimes I get suspicious, like is this guy following me? But the thing is, I just see them every day so it seems like they’re following me, but they’re really just there. You see the same faces every day and sometimes you feel irritated because of it, so it’s a nice change that I’m talking to you today. Doesn’t happen every day.”

-Reaz in NoMa

Author’s note: Reaz is currently in a semi-permanent housing situation.