Derrick: Brownsville, Brooklyn

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    Derrick, 45, who has been homeless since leaving jail, now collects change at the intersection in front of the shelter. He started smoking weed at ten and was using and dealing heroin and crack by sixteen. He showed me the scar from being shot in the leg. He still limps: "It helps for getting money."

    His mom was an addict; his father, not really a factor in his life. He has spent a total of twenty years in jail. The last one ended recently and he is now clean. "I do drink a bit now and then, to be honest."

    When I asked him how he wanted to be described he said with a big grin on his face, "I am a homeless man who gots style." His dream was simple: "Stay clean and get rich."

    More on Addiction: Faces of Addiction
    More East New York photos here: East New York

    1. Guido de Kleijn 36 months ago | reply

      A poor homeless man who has to collect to stay alive, what a contract with the big Mercedes passing by in the background. I hope Derrick will find some happiness soon.

    2. Flomsk 36 months ago | reply

      your pictures are amazing and humbling. Thank you for sharing them.

    3. KINGOFNEWYORKHACKS 36 months ago | reply

      Crazy cool shot with the Mercedes behind him...always brilliant bro.

    4. four50photo 36 months ago | reply

      Superb photography, perfectly separated and edge (rim) lit too. Good strong pose also. Well done and fingers crossed for him :-)

    5. KittyKaht 36 months ago | reply

      Really well shot. Love the car bokeh

    6. sara.giusti 36 months ago | reply

      Nice portrait

    7. stevensiegel260 36 months ago | reply

      I love the fact that your subjects -- no matter horrible their life experiences-- manage to project a calm dignity for your camera. It is clear that a strong bond has been established between photographer and subject.

    8. Al Fed 36 months ago | reply

      And style he has. He seems full of life, even after all those many years in jail. I wonder why people get out of jail and then are left alone with nothing. Without a very strong character it's no wonder they're usually back in pretty soon, I suppose.

    9. Frank Fullard 36 months ago | reply

      Great portrait!
      Hopefully he can stay clean and get rich too, as he wishes!

    10. alaina.skipwith 36 months ago | reply

      Amazing work, thank you for sharing your work to the world. I live in New Zealand where you don't really hear of such things. It is a wonderful thing you are doing. Very touching!

    11. Joby_B 36 months ago | reply

      Like to poster above I'm from NZ - there was a link to your photostream in a column in the NZ Herald called Sideswipe that usually has funny internet snippets - and occasionally something more significant. I just went through your whole photostream and found it very moving. You have immense talent both behind a lens and for telling stories with poignant simplicity. Thank you.

    12. Chris Arnade 36 months ago | reply

      Thanks so much. Noticed an uptick in my twitter traffic from NZ, now I know why!

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