Eric Asazawa

Portraits of Homelessness

Photos and stories of men who are homeless

I was good with computers, but I didn’t have a degree. People asked me for help with computer problems everywhere I worked. I learned the technology to help them, teaching myself. For years I helped with web development, support, systems administration, network installations,
training. But I didn’t have the certification, so when it came to finding a job in computers it was tough. When I was laid-off from my web development job, I took a job in sales. When I was laid-off from my sales job, I found it hard to find any job … I had started losing my sight.

Everything I had taken for granted was being taken away.

I thought I was above it all, that I’d never be homeless myself. I’m sure I had seen people who were homeless on the street, but I can’t recall a single instance. Perhaps I didn’t want to let the possibility enter my mind.

Here I am, living in a shelter now; homeless for over two years. Though I’m going blind, I can still sense an attitude in others I meet on the street. They think they’re above it too. With the economy the way it is, almost everyone is one or two incidents away from joining the ranks (of those who are homeless). I’m fortunate because I’ve only had to spend a few weeks outside. The rest of the time, I’ve had a roof over my head, a bunk to sleep in, and food to eat. I’ve met some wonderful people who have been helpful with my disability. In fact, without their kind help, I would be on the street, and completely blind. Yes, I am homeless and going blind. But knowing how bad it can be, I’m not complaining.