ST. CHARLES CO., MO. - Out of sight and out of mind.
This is how one local organization describes the homeless problem in St. Charles County. Saints Joachim and Ann Care Service's project called “In Plain Sight Homelessness Exposed” is hoping to change that.
Josh Shaw became homeless four years ago. In between jobs, money became hard to come by.
"I carry what I call a rough sack. I pretty much carry my house on my back," Shaw said.
Shaw became an ill. It left him fatigue and sometimes depressed, where living day to day turned into a quest for survival.
"If I'm not working, I got to go out there a fly a sign and hustle money ,” said Shaw.
In April, the Saints Joachim and Ann Care Service handed out 100 cameras to 100 homeless people. The goal was to document their day to day lives to raise awareness about the issue.
The photos are now on display in the St. Peter's Cultural Arts Centre.
"I wanted people to see this is here lets get together and do something about this. Because people do not deserve to live under bridges."
There are more than 500 people considered homeless in St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren Counties. There are more than 2,000 homeless people in the St. Louis Region.
Pam Struckhoff, the Director of Programs and Services for Saints Joachim and Ann Care Service, shares a story about a homeless man who was in plain sight, but still missed by residents driving along the highway.
"People saw him but he was homeless very obviously, but I would say to people did you see him and they would say oh no, we don't have any homeless in St. Charles County," said Struckhoff.
For Shaw, he hopes people gain a different perspective of homeless people with this project.
"We actually don't just sit around and drink and do drugs all the time. We actually take care of ourselves," he said.
And he wants you to know.
"We're all still humans."
On Thursday, the photos were on display for the first time since the project launched back in April. They will be showcased until August 19 and sold on the same day at a dinner auction event. All proceeds will go to helping the homeless community.
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