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Art Gallery Shows NYC Through the Eyes of the Homeless

Art Gallery Shows NYC Through the Eyes of the Homeless [Photo: Nesster, Flickr

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A new project is showing New Yorkers their city through the eyes of some of its most disadvantaged citizens: the homeless.

Heart Gallery NYC spent the summer setting up mentorships between professional photographers and homeless participants.

The gallery's executive director, Laurie Sherman Graff, says she was immediately sold on the project when she heard about the idea from the city's Department of Homeless Services. They quickly formed a plan to give homeless applicants photography classes, and then dispatch them into the city to take photos. But Graff says not everyone was on board.

"When we gave the cameras out, you know, some people said to us 'you're never going to see those cameras again,'" Graff recalled. "But guess what? Every single person came back. With their camera."

Not only did the cameras come back, Graff said they came back with some great pictures, like the ones taken by Janet Sandlin.

Sandlin spent 15 years homeless in New York City, before moving into transitional housing. She said the chance to be a photographer really changed her outlook.

"This opportunity has really helped me to let my guard down," Sandlin said. "It just really helped me to relax."

The photos have been displayed at the New York City Hall, among other places. The project is also online at eyesofthehomelessnyc.org.  

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