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Humans of New York. "He lets me paint his nails and put make-up on his eyes and he plays with me in my Barbie house which is like twenty feet tall.”

Humans of New York. "I got to the point where I was stealing from stores, breaking into car windows. Everything but prostitution. I was living in the streets. Sometimes I wouldn’t shower for weeks at a time. Then one day I was walking down 149th by Lincoln Hospital, and I bumped into a drug counselor named Mr. Crespo. He took me to get some food. He gave me a few dollars. And he told me that I didn’t have to live like this anymore .... Click "visit" button for further reading.

"I wish my parents had raised me to love myself more.” Boston, MA. Portraits of America (by Ivan Velinov)

"My parents divorced when I was in high school.”
“How did that affect you?”
“It made me more independent. I was pretty sheltered until then. It challenged me to be on my own. I moved away to live with my uncle, got my first car, got a job, and had more responsibilities. So it turned out to be a great thing for me.” Bloomington, IN

"We were sitting across from each other on the bus. Every time I looked at her, she would look the other way.”
“I didn’t want him to catch me looking.” Chicago, IL. Portraits of America (by Ivan Velinov)

"I'm a waitress. I’ve been working in restaurants for the past five years, and I’ve realized, by becoming good at that skill, that it’s helpful in all areas of my life. It’s a job where you have to have priorities. You don’t look too far ahead. You get the first three things you need to do, you keep them in your head, and once you get to the last thing, you say, ‘Okay, what do I need to do next?’ The same is true of life: I can’t plan my whole life in one go. I have to figure out what the…

"I've been abused, and I’m tired of it.”
“Who has abused you?”
“My mother, my foster mother, my sister, the city. DCF has my kids, and won’t tell me how they’re doing, where they’re at, who the adopted parents are. I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve never been a fighter. I’m just sitting and dealing with it. Everyone thinks I’m crazy because I’m always talking to Jesus. Well, I’ve got no one else to talk to.” Portraits of America (by Ivan Velinov)

"I find something good in everybody. That’s my thing. And it’s kept me going—I’m 87 years old.” Boston, MA. Portraits of America (by Ivan Velinov)

"Most African parents are overbearing, but my mom let me be me.” Boston, MA. Portraits of America (by Ivan Velinov)

“When I’m in a bad mood, she takes care of me and makes my anger go away.” Boston, MA | Portraits of America, ph. Ivan Velinov