Photos

Photos strip away “background of homelessness”

 

Charleston Daily Mail photo by Bob Wojcieszak “I’d steal, I’d cheat, whatever; I’d stand there and lie to your face and make you believe me. Anything to get my pill, or my crack or whatever I was using at the time. I don’t want that lifestyle anymore.” Robert came to Harvest Time on home confinement and was recently arrested for breaking the terms of that confinement.
Charleston Daily Mail photo by Bob Wojcieszak
“I’d steal, I’d cheat, whatever; I’d stand there and lie to your face and make you believe me. Anything to get my pill, or my crack or whatever I was using at the time. I don’t want that lifestyle anymore.” Robert came to Harvest Time on home confinement and was recently arrested for breaking the terms of that confinement.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Daily Mail photographer Bob Wojcieszak has seen lots of homeless shelters in his 21 years at this newspaper.

But he noticed something special when he visited Harvest Time on Charleston’s West Side while on assignment with reporter Charlotte Smith last year.

“What struck me about this place was the amount of smiles I saw,” he said.

He started volunteering at Harvest Time occasionally, processing residents at the shelter’s front desk. He got to know Pastor Jess Inclenrock (known as “Pastor Rock” by residents) and his wife Christy.

“I saw with my own eyes the things they had taken on, and frankly, it made my jaw drop. Without assistance of any kind other than donations, this little hole-in-the-wall church feeds anyone twice a day and houses somewhere around 15 to as many as 40 homeless men,” he said.

He said the Inclenrocks have made a concerted effort to break the cycle of homelessness by helping residents get important documents, continue their education, find jobs and make housing arrangements.

Wojcieszak also became close with some of the homeless men who frequented Harvest Time, learning the stories behind their current situation and how they are trying to get back on their feet.

Starting in mid-May, Wojcieszak began lugging his cameras, lighting equipment and a background to Harvest Time to take photos of the residents.

His collection of portraits, which he has titled “Faces of the Redeemed,” will be on display during Thursday’s ArtWalk at Romano and Associates, 230 Capitol St.

The portraits were inspired by Irving Penn, a longtime photographer for “Vogue” magazine whom Wojcieszak discovered in college…

 

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