Humanizing the homeless: Leah den Bok’s project

We have dealt several times with the connection between art and the social, together with the collaborations born and the numerous successes achieved.

Regarding this, today we go overseas to learn about the work and artworks of Leah den Bok, Canadian photographer, creator of Humanizing the homeless: photographic project born in 2014 which, in conjunction with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is particularly meaningful.

It all started with a quote from Alexander Maclachlan, a Scottish born Canadian poet.

“He was once rich, but he got poorer and poorer,

as hardship on hardship ‘gainst him were pressed”


Humanizing the homeless, Leah den Bok – Courtesy Corriere della sera


For a year now, the virus has forced us to stay at home and, after months, we became impatient.

Leah, over the years, has taken wonderful black and white shots – between New York, Washington, Brisbane and Toronto – of those who are not lucky enough to be able to complain of having to stay indoors: the homeless.

In her photos, the eyes are strinking: they tell stories, since they have seen so many things.

From the official website of the project – accessible at the link – you can access the section dedicated to the blog.

Here you can find six people lives’ stories who, for different reasons, no longer own a home: Joshua, Larry, Ron, Kathryn, Selina and Lucy. Among them there are those who had a job and lost it, those who have a divorce behind them or those who, unfortunately, live in a confusional state.


Humanizing the homeless, Leah den Bok – Courtesy Corriere della sera


To each of these six stories, told with extreme respect, is assigned a piece of advice (if you want to call it that) to get closer to this part of the world and be able to help in some way. Here they are:

  1. Joshua: Financially support organizations;
  2. Larry: Donate food and other items;
  3. Ron: Volunteer to work at shelters and soup kitchens;
  4. Kathryn: Treat people experiencing homelessness with dignity and respect;
  5. Selina: Don’t judge people experiencing homelessness;
  6. Lucy: Pressure the government to build more affordable housing;

On the Instagram page @humanizing_the_homeless there are all the other shots with other stories.

Humanizing the homeless offers an insight about people who are  invisible to most.