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The faces of homelessness

(detail) Noah Addis, Carmen Velazquez, 2010

According to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, about 88,900 Chicagoans were homeless during the 2009-2010 academic year. On Saturday, August 20, the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) debuted, Pathways to Stable Housing, an exhibit that shares the stories of people who continue to overcome the hardships of homelessness each day.

The exhibit showcases the work of Noah Addis, who teamed up with Philip Nyden, PhD, director of Loyola’s Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL), in the summer of 2010 to photograph and interview 25 homeless men and women and their families. The exhibit emerged from a combination of years worth of research conducted by CURL and photography projects Addis created while studying homeless communities worldwide.

In Pathways to Stable Housing, portraits of the individuals are displayed alongside transcripts of interviews. Many of those featured in the exhibit have endured struggles such as childhood homelessness, poverty due to physical or mental health issues, the lack of available access to education, and the shortage of affordable housing.

Nyden says the key point of the exhibit is to portray those who were formerly homeless as people who had the strength and determination to conquer their misfortune, rather than as people who were very passive and helpless while in homelessness.

“The experience of seeing the exhibit clearly conveys the struggles these people are going through, but also their very positive view for the future,” Nyden adds.

Two public programs will accompany the run of the exhibit:

Reception for Pathways to Stable Housing
Tuesday, September 13 at 5:30 p.m. 
Simpson Lecture Hall, LUMA

Come and meet several of the individuals featured in the exhibit and hear brief presentations by Noah Addis, Phil Nyden, PhD, and Nancy Radner, CEO of the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness. RSVP to luma@luc.edu or by calling 312.915.7608. Admission is free.

Meet the Photographer Lecture
Wednesday, September 14 at 4 p.m. 
$4 for the public; Free for LUMA members and Loyola faculty, staff, and students

LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Ave.

Noah Addis will talk about his experience as a photojournalist, specifically as a staff photographer at the Star-Ledger, where he captured the growth of Christianity in Africa, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and Iraq immediately following the fall of Baghdad in 2003.

For more information about the Pathways to Stable Housing, please visit LUMA’s website.

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