Self-portraits of veterans at HVAF

They say a picture is worth a thousand words...or so the saying goes. But, a self-portrait left many homeless veterans speechless. For some, it was a first time posing for a professional photograph.
More than a decade had passed since Whitney, 59, and his family had their family photograph taken, but that changed on Saturday, December 13.

“I would never have resources to do this," Whitney said. "It always feels good to be with my family and grandkids especially during the holidays.”

Whitney, a US Army veteran served in Seoul, South Korea from 1972-75. He came to HVAF in need of housing in July 2014, and also was able to seek help with alcohol and drug addiction at HVAF’s recovery (REST) program.

Brittany Hulen, a US Marines veteran, reached out to HVAF with an interest in taking photographs of the veterans.

“There is no single portrait of homelessness,” says Brittany. “Sometimes families lose their homes because of money; an illness strips a person of work; a layoff comes unannounced but I think everyone deserves a photograph with family and friends. A photograph is something these veterans can cherish."

Richard W., 59, served in the Navy in 1972-73 and was stationed in Athens, Greece. “I haven’t had a professional photograph taken since I was in the service so this was very special,” says Richard.

After photographs were taken each veteran received a gift bag provided by PME Enterprises which brought tears to the eyes of many of the veterans.

Veterans (back row) with staff (first row)