Through Someone Else’s Eyes

Nowhere to Call Home by Leah Denbok. Volumes 1 and 2.

A couple of years ago, I watched a CBC documentary about a teenage photographer whose goal it was to give a face to those experiencing homelessness. A large part of her inspiration came from her mom’s journey. At age three her mother was a homeless child wandering the streets of Calcutta, India. From there she moved to an orphanage run by Mother Teresa, at age 5 was adopted by a couple that lived in a small town not far from my home.

A quote from Bruce Rivers, Executive Director of Covenant House in Toronto says it best. “Amazing photography. It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and that expression is exactly suited to describe Leah’s work. She poignantly captures the depth and humanity of the individual that she beholds in front of her lens.”

Last Saturday night, while enjoying the Collingwood Art Crawl, we came upon Leah and her work in the town’s Anglican Church. Her portraits hung on the walls and both volumes of her books were available to browse or purchase. Her work, in black and white, held a continuous flow of people captive.

It’s almost impossible to go through life without crossing paths with someone who is experiencing homelessness.

The next time you pass someone on the street, give a nod, a smile, a hello. That seemingly small gesture might just save a person’s life.

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