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.


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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 week 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?

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#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 week ago

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

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#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.... Read More

"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 week 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.

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#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 week ago

The you deserve credit part says enough

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#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 week 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.

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#6 Jamie

Jamie

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

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Arlette Jackman 1 week 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☺

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#7 Bob

Bob

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Molly Block 1 week 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?!!

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#8 Tanya

Tanya

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

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Nancy E 1 week ago

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

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#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 week 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.

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#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 week 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.

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