Arthur is full of life and expresses it through singing. He's taught me southern gospel hymns, and when people pass, he's always shouting out, "Tell someone you love 'em today ya'all!" and "You look beautiful today!" The first day I heard him, I joined in with harmony, and started dancing. Arthur has become a dear friend of mine. It was actually his impact on me that inspired me to start Sacred Souls of the Streets. Arthur completely re-arranged and re-shaped how I viewed people experiencing poverty. His exuberant, thankful spirit and his faith in God's providence amazes me. As I got to know Arthur, I would observe others come up to him and greet him like a brother, and he would offer hugs and prayers to them. Through watching him it dawned on me: there is this close-knit family dynamic on the streets! Not only that, but a lot of them are followers of Jesus! It's like an underground church that's powerful yet going unnoticed! I think society all too often looks at the man on the street whose holding a sign and casts all these judgments. Either that or we try to help by offering something we assume they need, which creates a toxic hierarchy. What about reconciliation? Did you ever think that people experiencing poverty have something to offer you? Something that you don't have? Something to teach you? Arthur is the first one that I started referring to as my street teacher. Every time I see him he encourages me in truth, and tells me he loves me. I love him back.
Sacred Souls of the Streets is the adventure of sharing human connections with people on the street who tend to be marginalized or misunderstood – particularly through song, dance, storytelling and active listening, and then documented through portraiture. Sacred Souls of the Streets exists to shatter the notions we have of wealth, intelligence, wisdom, potential, capacity, needs, and spirituality. The motto of Sacred Souls of the Streets is, “I am here to listen and to learn from you, not to rescue, save or correct you.” My hope for Sacred Souls of the Streets is that it will continue to be a catalyst for positive paradigm shifts like it was for me, inspiring people to set out on similar adventures.