A homeless person's shopping cart. West Islip, N. Y. (Nov.19, 2016). Photo by Mike Lander.


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While driving around this past Saturday morning doing my weekend chores, I spied the shopping cart of a homeless person waiting for its owner’s return. Hidden in plain sight. We see them or rather we look past them preferring not to notice.

I recall how I used to feel as a youngster many, many years ago. I had an irrational rear of failure which would result in me or my family becoming homeless. Homelessphobia to coin a phrase. It was not to be. However, when my family did encounter some hard times along the way the thought of not being able to pay the mortgage/taxes did become front and center for a time. Fortunately those days are behind us now, but what does it really take to have everything and then be on the verge of losing it all? So the question to ask is am I my brother’s keeper? The line is thin between the good life and life on the streets.

This photo is one of four that I shot with my iPhone for it is always with me. My DSLR seems to be never with me when I need it. The photos are only slightly edited with our software. A random shot which has received much more attention on our social media than most of our other images. With the explosion in smart camera phones almost anyone is capable of producing effective reportage. Perhaps the holiday season has drawn more attention to these images of homelessness.