Jackie: Hunts Point, Bronx

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    I ran into Jackie, twenty-eight, and Natalie after midnight. They were getting snacks and dollar bottle shots of liqour. Jackie became addicted to heroin and crack at an early age, and lost her four children to the state. "I was a young mother fucked up on drugs. I neglected them." She is a homeless prostitute and has been living wherever, rooftops, abandoned buildings, empty lots, for the last eight years, and is now in the methadone clinic in Hunts Point. "You live on the streets as a girl, you get raped. It just is."

    When I asked her what her dream is, she said with a big smile "I want to get my GED, become a nurse, and get my kids back. I just want my kids."

    I post people's stories as they tell them to me. I am not a journalist. I don't try to verify, just listen.

    More on Addiction: Faces of Addiction

    André Varela, Streetpix du jour, and 70 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 4 more comments

    1. lefiligree 39 months ago | reply

      those dreams are attainable

    2. caymanmamma 39 months ago | reply

      Great portrait and such a sad story.I hope she realises her dreams and things get better for her.

    3. bobdeinphoto 39 months ago | reply

      Very compelling.

    4. AH in Pgh 39 months ago | reply

      Chris, how do you deal with hearing so many tragic stories, in person? As always your photos are special.

    5. Chris Arnade 39 months ago | reply

      Thanks. Well, their stories do get to me, but I find that beyond the sadness, they are testimonies of resilience.

    6. Sean P. Sweeney 39 months ago | reply

      Chris, Any chance that some of these people are on missing persons list? I know your not a journalist but these are fantastic testimonials. Well done

    7. Riot_Jem 39 months ago | reply

      Another great shot and a heart breaking story. Good luck to her. and thank you, for giving us an insight into these peoples lives. I hope that in a way, these people know that they are thought about long after they tell you their story. Sometimes the stories stay with me for days. This is such a great way of highlighting what an illness addiction really is, how it is not a choice for so many of these people that get judged every single day. My heart goes out to them.

    8. armed with aesthetics 39 months ago | reply

      Testimonies of resilience indeed.

    9. Guido de Kleijn 39 months ago | reply

      Although you can clearly see traces of addiction in her face you can't deny that's she is a beautiful women. Hope she'l find some luck and peace soon.

    10. Cinomaniaitalia 38 months ago | reply

      Said story (s)...we could do something with Chris Arnade to help them? Emilio from Italy

    11. Opioids 38 months ago | reply

      She's beautiful.

    12. ad tz 29 months ago | reply

      Amazingly for 8 years of abuse on the streets she still looks alright. I wish her the best.I would have cracked a long time ago if i was her The world is wrong.Everyone should at least have a roof over their head,and receive some help.When I ever complain over something petty again,I will remind myself of these pictures and be thankfull I have a roof over my head and something to eat

    13. ArnK 28 months ago | reply

      Your work is great and inspiring.

    14. yogaguy 28 months ago | reply

      Stunning, unforgetable, powerful pictures. Your bio lines provide just the right amount of personal background so that we can understand how the subject got that way. Each enhances the intimacy and power of the other. My only criticism is that when you say something like "I am not a journalist," you are off topic, in your head and addressing non-issues. It diminishes the impact. We really don't have a problem with the fact you are not a journalist! Your work connects in a huge way. You deserve to have complete confidence in what you are doing. You obviously know what works. Your bios tell authentic, poignant stories. Their self-awareness, courage and honesty deliver the goods. A helpful comment like "their stories do get to me, but I find that beyond the sadness, they are testimonies of resilience" is fine -- especially as that was solicited. But, distracting asides should be edited.

    15. Nathan Tweti 27 months ago | reply

      Amazing work Chris,
      I happened upon Faces of addiction from a fellow photographer on Facebook and was blown away! i hope you're planning a book (if you haven't done so already).
      thank you so much for doing this.

    16. dlcb6 25 months ago | reply

      Would like to contact Jackie via mail. I am in recovery. Jeanette

    17. dlcb6 25 months ago | reply

      Could you put me in touch with Jackie via mail or email? Jeanette

    18. JNazir563 20 months ago | reply

      This is the other America that people want to pretend doesn't exist...well, people like Jackie don't have that luxury.

    19. Rudlin 8 months ago | reply

      R.I.P Jackie. You're a legend now.

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