A.J. Zelina Emerging Young Photographer Grant
For Emerging Young Photographers
Homeless at the End
Daniel Lombardi - Salt Lake City, United States
Three people have died down the street from my house in the past year. These three souls were a small part of the ninety some people who die homeless in Salt Lake City every year. I am documenting the lives and deaths of the homeless in my community.
This project documents the end of life process for a few people who are homeless and suffering from terminal illnesses.
Both my main characters are facing terminal illness but James is staying at a hospice shelter and Tracy is on the streets. My project follows these individuals as they go to the hospital, as the use drugs, as they prepare meals, as they spend time with loved ones and as they spend their final months of life.
The heart of this project lies in how our culture handles the end of life as a special and sacred process not unlike birth. I thought I already understood that but I actually still have a lot to learn. It turns out that not everyone dies the same way.
I have following and photographing this story since August of 2015 and believe it will take a long while still. This is not a quick or surface level story - I've made several thousand images already. I am spending weeks and months with my subjects photographing intimate moments that mandate patience.
Once finished, I intend to publish my work in a book. In images and essays this book will explore the common humanity in the death experience.
I will use the funds from this project to give myself the time required to follow these personal stories. I will also use the funds to cover the small, but frequent, transportation costs and ultimately to help print the final images.