Citi Community Development has commissioned famed photographer Gus Powell to create Bring Them Homes: Photographs of Resilience, a 30-image exhibition that shines a light on the perseverance and dynamic stories of veterans that were once homeless or at risk of homelessness.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), more than 40,000 veterans experienced homelessness and nearly 120,000 veterans used an emergency shelter or transitional housing in the United States in 2017. Through a six-year collaboration with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and its affiliate, National Equity Fund, Citi Community Development’s support for the initiative has helped provide transitional, supportive, temporary and permanent housing for homeless veterans, service members and their families. Through the Bring Them Homes initiative, 58 housing developments have been built or are under construction in 15 states. These developments will offer approximately 4,000 units of affordable apartments to low-income residents, with a preference for at-risk veterans, including more than 2,800 permanent supportive housing units for homeless veterans and their families.
''These homes aren’t just a physical place to live,'' said Debbie Burkart, national vice president for supportive housing with LISC-NEF. ''They are also a place to heal… to connect with other veterans who have shared experiences, to access health services to address PTSD and physical disabilities, to get help with employment training and placement so veterans who were once homeless can reclaim their independence. This is about recovery,'' she said. ''These projects are about hope.''
''Through our collaboration with LISC-NEF, we have seen firsthand how providing inclusive and welcoming housing for veterans can be an effective pathway to social and economic stability,'' said Ruth Christopherson, Senior Vice President, Citi Community Development and Citi Salutes, Retired Colonel, U.S. Air National Guard. ''By launching this exhibition, we aim to celebrate some of our nation’s heroes by displaying their incredible strength and resilience.''
''Making photographs of the Bring Them Homes residents has been a profound experience for me,'' said photographer Gus Powell. ''I’m in awe of the human resilience I encountered with each person I met and photographed. The lives and bodies of these men and women illustrate their sacrifice, their courage, and their humanity. The positive impact of these homes is unmistakable, they show how institutions can support the most vulnerable people in our society.''
Powell is the author of two books, The Company of Strangers and The Lonely Ones, and his work has been published in Aperture, Harpers, Vogue, M le mag – Le Monde, Wired, Fortune, W and The New Yorker. He is a member of the street photographers’ collective In-Public and is on the faculty in the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department at the School of Visual Arts in New York. His work has been exhibited internationally, including a solo show at The Museum of The City of New York and group exhibitions at The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts Houston and FOAM, the Netherlands.
''Citi Community Development and LISC-NEF have been two long-standing, driving forces in national efforts to create affordable housing for veterans experiencing and at risk of homelessness. Their investments have allowed thousands of veterans to move into their own housing and overcome the barriers that contributed to their homelessness,'' said Kathryn Monet, Chief Executive Officer of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. ''This exhibition will give the general public a better understanding of the service, sacrifice, and post-military experience of veterans who have faced housing instability.''