Montreal, just like any big city, is full of homeless people. And just like in every other town, there’s a vast majority of people who do everything they can to NOT see the homelessness around them. You know exactly what I mean: you’ve spotted one from a few meters away, so you speed up your pace, take your phone out or look the other way, making sure to avoid this uncomfortable moment when you just know the homeless person is going to ask for some spare change and you’ll say no…

If you recognized yourself in the uncomfortable questions above, then these series of street photography are dedicated to you. Understand that I am not judging you in any way; hell, I used to be you. But one day I realized the homeless are humans, just like me. And if we all saw them as humans – and not just “beggars” – then maybe we’d realize it’s quite a messed up society we’ve built for ourselves… I mean, how did we come to think it was okay to have so many of us suffering in such miserable living conditions?

So take a good look at this grave social issue, and stop looking away because it’s not going to go away on its own. And next time you see one, whether you want to give them some change or not, don’t look the other way. Because for having chatted with quite a few homeless people, I can tell you that they’ll appreciate your smile much more than your 1$ coin.

I also take portraits of the homeless and share the stories they tell me.

More info: mikaeltheimer.com

Dreams of a better life

La vie est belle

“I’m teaching you how to give”

Don’t mind me

Grocery shopping

Lap dance

The flip side of the coin

Place-des-arts

A nap in the park

If the social ladder is broken, take the stairs

Chilling with my friends

Parking spots have cheaper rent

I wish I had a couch

The invisible woman

But not traveling light

Stairs make great pillows

Home is where my hammock hangs

I missed my train

Raindrops keep falling on my head

Ground zero

Sending out an S.O.S

Can we share that bagel?

Daddy, why is the man sleeping here?

Social assymetry

Don’t get too close, I bite

Sleepy head

Stuck in the middle

Just like home

Thank you for watching these

Now stop looking away when you see me