Nicky, Vanessa and Mary Alice: Hunts Point, Bronx
Nicky, from Baltimore, is now homeless and a heroin addict. She was standing on the same busy street corner as her two friends Vanessa and Mary Alice, waiting for the guys buying liqour on the way home from work.
Prostitution gets the attention, but most of these women are driven by their addiction. I have found almost every one of the heroin addicts to be thoughtful, empathetic, and too trusting, holding huge emotional pain they are looking to numb.
Nicky, when asked how she wanted to be described said, "don't judge me till you get to know me! That holds for all of us girls out here."
More on Addiction: Faces of Addiction