Washington, DC


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. To read Alan’s full story, please visit Person First Project

Note: Alan is currently housed.

“I was homeless for six years all together; pretty well split between homeless on the street and homeless in the shelter system. I have experienced good and bad in people. I’ve asked someone what time it was and had them look at me like ‘What do you need to know what time it is for? You’re not going anywhere.’ I said ‘good morning’ to a lady one morning, and when she turned and she saw a homeless person, she turned her back. I didn’t ask her for anything, I just said good morning. So that was really bad.

But I’ve also experienced the good. I’ve experienced someone coming out of a restaurant with food, and just giving it to me, and I wasn’t even looking for it or asking for it.

One of the best good things I’ve experienced was this lady one winter morning. I was really cold, and this little old lady asked me my name – which was something that hadn’t happened in a couple of years – and said she was going to say a prayer for me, and gave me two dollars for a cup of coffee. I will always remember that lady for the rest of my life. I never have coffee and I don’t think of her. It wasn’t a long a conversation but, but she’s there every time I drink a cup of coffee.”

– Alan


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