Photo: Robert Johnson
Yesterday, we published an amazing photo-essay by Robert Johnson about a young homeless couple on New York’s Upper West Side.The photos and story startled everyone, because Scott and Whitney, the homeless people, don’t look like typical homeless people, in that they’re young, articulate, and good-looking. (Scott, for example, reads Proust while panhandling.)
Not surprisingly, the question about why Scott and Whitney are homeless sparked a lot of passionate responses in the comments. Robert Johnson, for one, who spent a morning with the couple, points out that they don’t have family they want to turn to. He also thinks they’ve gotten caught in a loop in which all their energy and money goes to making the present more bearable.
More surprisingly, Scott and Whitney themselves both responded in the comments. (You’ve got to love this medium.)
Here’s Whitney, for example, responding to a question about why they just don’t stay with their parents:
My mum is losing her house due to a mortgage issue and might be out on the streets herself … Do you really think that we haven’t thought of that? Scott’s family will not allow us to “live” with them until we can find work.
And again, to another question, about whether she has told her mother:
No, my mother doesn’t know outright but she is not an idiot. … She has put two and two together but I won’t say it to her. She has enough to worry about. She is losing her home of 26 years, her husband has just died, and her mother is falling further into dementia so her plate is full. Sorry I don’t want to give her another reason not to sleep.
These responses added a whole new dimension to the story. And they also spawned another little mystery … how were Scott and Whitney getting online?
Robert Johnson answered that one quickly. They used the Macs in one of Manhattan’s many Apple stores.
Read the photo-essay below. And look for Scott and Whitney G in the comments.
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