Kensington Avenue in North Philadelphia is infamous for drug abuse and prostitution. The Avenue runs 3 miles through what is now a dangerous and crime-ridden neighborhood. Kensington Blues is a photography series by Jeffrey Stockbridge, 36, that documented the struggles and the dark reality of local residents.

Between 2008 and 2014, the photographer took a series of intimate portraits of people capturing a side of Philadelphia that is rarely seen or talked about. The residents shared their stories, talking about drugs, prostitution and other struggles of their lives.

"The goal of my work is to enable people to relate to one another in a fundamentally human way, despite any commonly perceived differences"- Jeffrey shared on his website. "I rely on the trust and sincerity of those I photograph to help me in this process."

Take a look at the powerful images below.

More info: kensingtonblues.com

#1 Al

Al

Al lives in a house off Kensington Avenue without electricity or running water. He sometimes rents his upstairs bedroom to prostitutes in need of a private location for engaging in sex and drug use.

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Monika Soffronow 1 year ago

I will second Nancy E on this one: Mental illness, drugs, including alcohol, cause lives to go awry. It is simply the truth, so why the down'voting?

View More Replies...
View more comments

#2 Sarah

Sarah

"I'm 55 years old, I have a master's degree in psychology, but after my husband, mother and father, died in a car accident two years ago, I lost my whole family, my career, one, my health, all in one go."

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Nancy E 1 year ago

Sarah, you have skills . Fight harder. There is help available.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#3 The Twins Tic Tac And Tootsie

The Twins Tic Tac And Tootsie

"We out here so we can get money so we has somewhere to rest our heads. We look out for each other. If I can't get money, she gets it, and whatever money we get we share...We need quick money cause we need somewhere to sleep every day. I mean, trust me, we don't want to be out here doing this. This is the last thing I want to do. But I do what I have to do to take care of my sister. Cause she’s all I got and I’m all she's got."

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Desiree Summer 1 year ago

I have gone through all of the comments on these pictures and there have been a lot from a lady named nancy and a man named robert and another account named black dahlia. I get that you like to joke about other peoples weaknesses but what you do not realize is that they have a legitimate problem. an addiction that controls their live. accept it or not but they depend on their drug or the occupation as much as any one else depends on our lungs to breath or water to cleans us. addiction is nothing in the matter to be laughed at or jokes upon, what they need is support and hope to help them deal with the terrible decision they have made in their past. also before you sit there and call someone "disgusting" because of a decision they made in their past, step back and think of the worst thing you have ever done in your life, sure it may not be heroin or prostitution, but it can still be judged and mocked just as much as these people in these pictures.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#4 Pat And Rachel

Pat And Rachel

They still have children, whom they gave away to a special agency for their protection. "We gave the kids away, people say it's a selfish act, but I think it's the best I could do for their better future," Rachel said.

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Birdgirl45 1 year ago

The you deserve credit part says enough

View More Replies...
View more comments

#5 Carroll

Carroll

She told that she often sleeps on the streets during the day to protect herself at night.

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Anna Herrington 1 year ago

Thought I might see my niece in one of these photos.... thank you for documenting this world. Difficult to see, terribly tough to experience and survive in. My heart goes out to all.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#6 Jamie

Jamie

"I’ve been raped, and, you know, almost killed really"

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Arlette Jackman 1 year ago

Ummmm this is so upsetting😯 also for the people saying just get an abortion, I don't want to assume things but she looks heavily pregnant and there is a point in pregnancy where it is dangerous for both the mother and baby to get an abortion! Also, this is in America and abortion laws are quite strict. So maybe u should research your comments before you say something potentially offensive☺

View More Replies...
View more comments

#7 Bob

Bob

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Molly Block 1 year ago

I wish there was more info on Bob. He's dressed so nicely, you'd never think he was a drug user. What is the story here?!!

View More Replies...
View more comments

#8 Tanya

Tanya

She is 25 years old, working in the sex industry since she was 18.

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Nancy E 1 year ago

She could be your daughter, friend, or , neighbor.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#9 Carol

Carol

A local resident, at the time she was 41. Carol told the photographer that she had been doing heroin for 21 years and it became "the love of her life".

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Maggie Collins 1 year ago

I see myself in her. I was a heroin addict (and anything else I could get) for 20-25 years. I have been clean for 21 years and have a better life than ever. But during my using days I lost my husband (best man on the planet) cuz yeah heroin was my only love, my son, family, everything. I've been working at Denny's for 15 years and proud of it. I am totally self sufficient today. It is so hard. Go to meetings, Narcotics Anon., Alcoholics Anon. get a sponsor, work your program and it will work. When you want it more than anything, it will work. Good luck.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#10 Mary

Mary

"I don't just do this for drugs. I do this because I wanna eat, because I like to buy clothes, because I like the small things, you know. I did have a normal life once but...I really believe, like if my, if my family say like, "Mary come, come home stay with us" like, if I could I would..."

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

stephanie 1 year ago

why everyone hating on nacy? shes not even being rude or anything? Haters gunna hate nacy your free to comment what ever you want, these pictures where takin to start awareness & concern.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#11 Sarah And Dennis

Sarah And Dennis

The veins in Sarah's arms were no good for injection, so she asked Dennis for the drug to be injected to her neck.

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Maggie Collins 1 year ago

No this is addiction. It is what addiction does to you.

View more comments

#12 Susan

Susan

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Molly Block 1 year ago

Susan and Bob would make a great couple. :-)

View More Replies...
View more comments

#13 Matt Neal

Matt Neal

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Celental Midnight 1 year ago

Awww. This one is sweet. Oh wait. Dahlia is here..... Why haven't they been banned yet???

View More Replies...
View more comments

#14 Kensington And Somerset

Kensington And Somerset

Maria: "I’ve been here almost 8 years and I see a lot of bad stuff going around. They say when you go between it, you gonna do it too." Robert: "You don’t need no cable, you don’t have to watch TV. You just gotta sit out here. You see drama, you see soap opera, you see violence and crime." Maria: "You even see sex."

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Rosa Torinos 1 year ago

Lovely

View more comments

#15 Matt Neal

Matt Neal

He struggled with drug addiction after being released from prison. Sepsis developed in his left leg. Because of his addiction, he failed to meet the treatment regimen and eventually the doctors had to amputate part of the leg.

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Alia Gail 1 year ago

Jeez... So many trolls in all these comment sections. All I can say is that i hope matt is doing a bit better now.

View more comments

#16 Nichole

Nichole

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

GalaxyInAJar 1 year ago

I love the way she looks hopeful, it's inspiring to think that even in these situations people can still maintain hope

View More Replies...
View more comments

#17 Vinny

Vinny

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Arlette Jackman 1 year ago

I am so annoyed with people! The people who post these offensive comments that show no empathy or consideration for any people that might be reading this and have been through similar things. It's really childish and you are showing you do not care about people's feelings😕 please stop. No one really cares what you think if it's like that ☺

View More Replies...
View more comments

#18 Melissa's Arms

Melissa's Arms

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Fero Othello 1 year ago

I feel like sometimes the physical wounds are a small percentage of our inner suffering. My heart goes out to this person.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#19 Jamie

Jamie

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Alia Gail 1 year ago

What a powerful image... I hope jamie turns out ok.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#20 Bobby

Bobby

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Bazza bazaar 1 year ago

Why should he be in jail for life?

View more comments

#21 Lauren

Lauren

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Birdgirl45 1 year ago

She's beautiful

View more comments

#22 Paul (Left) And Anthony (Right), In The Courtyard At The Last Stop Recovery House

Paul (Left) And Anthony (Right), In The Courtyard At The Last Stop Recovery House

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Nancy E 1 year ago

Stay with the program. You will then have a future worth living.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#23 Maria

Maria

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Emmer 1 year ago

She's so pretty ;o;

View more comments

#24 Matt And Brian

Matt And Brian

Matt shoots Brian in the neck in front of the McPherson Square Library on Kensington Avenue. It's 10 AM on Sunday morning.

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Alia Gail 1 year ago

Jeez... I’m curious about the person in the back there. I hope all three will be ok. (If the third has a problem at all)

View More Replies...
View more comments

#25 Nichol

Nichol

"I don’t really ask people for a lot, I get my money, like I don’t like to, cause a lot of times to get people to take care of you, you have to lie to them. And then lead them on and make them think that you're gonna get clean. And then, and then it ends up getting to be too much, where they’re trying to control what you do. And I’d rather just get the money and end it at that with no strings attached cause I don’t need someone following me around, trying to track me down like, trying to drop me off at rehabs and shit."

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Jane Martin 1 year ago

God, she is just a child. I can only imagine what got her to this point.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#26 Ashley

Ashley

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Eric Robinson 1 year ago

Weird that the shadows in her hair nearly mirror her face...

View More Replies...
View more comments

#27 Diana With Her Kids

Diana With Her Kids

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Casandra Nițescu 1 year ago

ok, I seriously don't understand what's so horribly wrong with Nancy's comments? I mean, it DOES look like this woman is pregnant again. It's not an insult, it's not making fun, it's just an observation.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#28 Scrappers

Scrappers

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Matthew Boedecker 1 year ago

I've scrapped for money. It's shitty and dangerous

View more comments

#29 Marion

Marion

"I went into rehab, for, like, snorting cocaine, taking oxies, perks, and I met people that did dope and smoked crack, and, you know, like, one thing led to another, and I was just, I was, I wanted to try it, and I did."

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Sykz 1 year ago

Sadness lies behind those eyes.

View more comments

#30 Woman On East Sterner Street

Woman On East Sterner Street

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Alia Gail 1 year ago

Holy crap dahlia. you have a serious problem.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#31 Jennette

Jennette

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Maree B 1 year ago

I'm sorry that you ate hurting Jannette. You are in my prayers.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#32 Edward

Edward

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Alia Gail 1 year ago

I can’t imagine what it’s like for people without anywhere to go in the winter. It got to negative fourteen degrees here the other day and i saw a woman on the side of the road in a T-SHIRT. I gave her my coat of course, but even so she could still get frostbite, or worse. It just breaks my heart.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#33 Crystal

Crystal

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Birdgirl45 1 year ago

But it's a sad, demeaning and hard lifestyle that haunts someone forever if (I'm most cases) they are forced into it

View more comments

#34 Unknown

Unknown

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Magda Nskrt 1 year ago

Nancy E, I really cant stand your silly comments

View More Replies...
View more comments

#35 Dalmata

Dalmata

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

GalaxyInAJar 1 year ago

I wonder what the stories behind his tattoos are...

View More Replies...
View more comments

#36 Eric Kyle

Eric Kyle

"What I’m doing I really don’t particularly care to be doing, but I do it anyway, and I’m not ashamed of it 'cause if I was ashamed of it, I wouldn’t do it....Until I decide to change it’s what I’m gonna do. Hopefully, like, the will of God...will make me strong enough and give me the determination to stop and get some help."

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Sykz 1 year ago

hopefully he will.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#37 Bobby

Bobby

"I sold a lot of drugs and was involved with a lot of like, stuff that had to do with shooting guns and all. Most of it was uh selling drugs and collecting money that was owed to me and it caused me getting into a lot of trouble."

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Sykz 1 year ago

I bet he has some stories to tell.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#38 Christina

Christina

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Virginia Thompson 1 year ago

There’s a story here

View more comments

#39 Nancy

Nancy

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Trixy 1 year ago

All you people making such rude remarks should go find somewhere else to take your negativity. These people are already living less than ideal lives.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#40 Nancy

Nancy

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

CBN2143 1 year ago

Nancy E has chosen to refrain from commenting about this other Nancy

View More Replies...
View more comments

#41 Alex

Alex

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Trixy 1 year ago

review of Black Dahlia: Shitty attitude, ugly profile pic, haughty, judgmental, and obnoxious.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#42 Christian

Christian

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Meep 1 year ago

Black Dahlia please do us all a favor and shut up with all of your negative, judgmental comments.

View More Replies...
View more comments

#43 Jose

Jose

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Mimi Guo 1 year ago

I only wish that these people will someday have a place to call home...

View more comments

#44 A Woman Stands On Kensington Ave

A Woman Stands On Kensington Ave

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Maree B 1 year ago

I don't know if you will see this. I wish I knew your name. You matter. You matter. "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." - from the Bible. 1 Corinthians 13:13

View more comments