SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Slide Shows

February 11, 2013

Salem photographer puts a face on homelessness

(Continued)

Amanda Bishop, 25, is one of the people in those portraits.

“People actually want to hear my story now. ... That never happened before,” said Bishop. “Nobody ever really took the time to say, ‘What’s your deal?’”

Bishop, who has previously lived in Salem, was working as a live-in personal care aide until her client’s death left her homeless 10 months ago.

“There’s some of us that are trying to make our situation better, not just stay in the same rut and do the same things every day,” said Bishop. “It’s not always a choice. It’s definitely not. Because if it was my choice, I would have had the 18 jobs I’ve applied to in the last 10 months. I would have had the apartment that I need. I would have had everything I needed if it was up for me to choose.”

Last month, she had her photograph taken again, but this time with her fiance, Sequonie “Q” Suarez, and her dog, Shadow.

Suarez, 22, a Boston native, has been homeless for about two years. He is working on getting his GED so he can apply for music school, and eventually he hopes to open his own studio.

“I love music, so I try to always apply my music to being homeless because, honestly, without my music I would probably go crazy,” he said. “This is hard to deal with. A lot of people don’t understand that.”

Both Pira and Livny said the “Invisible Faces” project has done more than shed light on the problem of youth homelessness.

“These kids now are taking on the advocacy work that I could never do,” Pira said. “We never had the vision that these kids could be advocates for homelessness.”

Pira’s project has also attracted the attention of the Center for Social Innovation, which approached him about incorporating “Invisible Faces” in a larger, nationwide initiative — the Outside In Project — that uses art as a vehicle to spur change. The collaboration also opens the door for additional grant funding. Pira continues to solicit donations and apply for grants to keep the project going.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

Local News
  • City gets four bids for McKay School BEVERLY -- In the latest round of bids for the McKay School property, the city will consider four new proposals it received last week. The most recent proposals mark the fourth time the city has reviewed bids on the property and the second effort for

    August 20, 2014

  • Police to put down their pens, write electronic tickets BOSTON -- State troopers will soon toss handwritten tickets in favor of electronic citations to save money and time, and local police across the state could eventually follow suit. State police using the system will swipe or scan a driver's license t

    August 20, 2014

  • 140819_SN_DLE_VAPOR2 No 'butts' about it: Vapor stores pop up despite e-cig concerns Michael Greene sells e-cigarettes because they saved his life. And if they were available in the United States 17 years ago, they might have also spared his father, who smoked four packs of cigarettes a day for 40 years. "If you put too many regulati

    August 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • 140819_SN_DLE_MURPHY4 109 days, 2 new lungs later, Essex Deputy Sheriff Murphy comes home

    Dozens of friends and family members lined up on Balcomb Street Tuesday evening to greet Newton Murphy as he arrived home from his double lung transplant. Murphy, the Essex County deputy sheriff, had been in the hospital for 109 days after his surge

    August 20, 2014 8 Photos

  • Sex offender Matthew Delima, who fled with teen, gets 2-10 years

    SALEM -- A judge Tuesday returned a homeless Level 3 sex offender to state prison for two to 10 years, but he said that after reading police reports and other records in the case, he would have imposed even more time. The reason Judge Timothy Feeley

    August 20, 2014 3 Stories