Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign. National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week

Alaska, Photography, Portraits

Winter has arrived. Sparkly-white snow dominates the landscape, already scarce daylight will continue to diminish and temperatures hitting negative numbers will likely drop another 50 degrees. Though these are conditions I have enjoyed my entire life thanks to stable housing and adequate clothing, not all do. My weekly photo challenge of “foreign” will focus on the life of those who do not.

Every year UAF takes part in National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week. Volunteers stand outside all day, even camping in tents if UAF deems it’s not too cold, to raise awareness for the homeless in Alaska. I’m used to cold weather, but these people are brave.

Alaska has scary homeless statistics. According to University Alaska Anchorage Justice Center Alaska ranks 10th nationally for estimates of homeless people based off total population, one-quarter of one percent, and it’s rising quickly. When including those people who stay in shelters, with friends or in temporary housing the number is estimated at  4,500.

These pictures do not illustrate actual homeless people, just those trying to raise awareness. Perhaps I will use this occasion to find some truly homeless people in Fairbanks and document their trails and tribulations.

© Robin Wood

Volunteers warm their hands around a barrel fire, November 16, 2011.

Volunteers during National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Month at University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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