NavigationCenter.org is a Truth Be Told project created to educate the public, create compassion for unhoused residents and bring dignity to the homeless. We believe it is wrong for people to treat homeless folks as less than equal and we hope to raise awareness and most importantly compassion and empathy for members of our community who need our support! It is a part of the Economic Justice Project.
We love human centered design, pilot projects and beta testing new ideas. We love that the Navigation Center Pilot Project has taken an innovative and proactive approach to change what is broken in our city and make it a better place to live.
Our approach is simple. We are ethnographers and documentarians. We are capturing documentary style portraits of individual homeless folks in San Francisco who are receiving services and housing through the Navigation Center. Each week we spend two hours talking with new arrivals and recently housed guests at the center. We shoot portrait style photographs to capture their personality and we use audio to record their story with a few simple questions. Each person is asked to simply tell us about their journey through homelessness. We guide them with a few questions like; Where are you from? How did you became homeless? Where did you sleep when you were homeless? What was the root cause of your homelessness? What are your passions and interests? What has been your experience at the Navigation Center?
We believe everybody deserves to be treated with dignity. We wish to impart empathy and compassion for those who may be less than understanding; and we hope to create awareness that being homeless is a situation, and no person deserves to be treated less than human because of their situation.
Our intention is to document progress at the Center and connect various people in San Francisco through online and printed stories. We hope to capture as many individuals as possible who use the Navigation Center as an exercise in qualitative research. Besides photos and audio, we’ve also begun to capture video and use virtual reality to capture guest’s stories.
This project is supported by the city of San Francisco, the Episcopal Church and the Navigation Center. It is a personal endeavor and while it is not a commissioned project, we have received a small grant through Soup SF and the rest of the project is self funded.
Our striving is not for ourselves, it is for humanity. We are all companions on this journey. I am You, You are Me, We are all One.