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

Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

Mental illness , drugs , including alcohol, cause lives to go awry.

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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
Community Member
3 years 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. 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

Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

Their eyes hold no hope....just resignation .

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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

Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

You deserve credit for giving your children a chance that you are not giving yourselves.

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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

Trev Wils
Community Member
3 years ago

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can't sleep at night work to be done

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#6

Jamie

Jamie

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

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

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If on drugs, your baby will be born addicted.

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#7

Bob

Bob

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

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Trying to hang on to the past.

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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
Community Member
3 years 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

Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

So much sadness still ahead............

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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

Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

Small steps may lead to more than you now have.

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#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

Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

Just existing .

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#12

Susan

Susan

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Black Dahlia
Community Member
3 years ago

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Whose culture is she trying to appropriate?

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#13

Matt Neal

Matt Neal

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

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Street aged.

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#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

Black Dahlia
Community Member
3 years ago

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The usual suspects...

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#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

Black Dahlia
Community Member
3 years ago

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Wow, he can blame himself for the loss of his leg not once but twice.

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#16

Nichole

Nichole

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Robert Crucial
Community Member
3 years ago

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No comment just disappointment

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#17

Vinny

Vinny

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

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Syringe handy around ear & partly under cap.

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#18

Melissa's Arms

Melissa's Arms

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

Meth user?

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#19

Jamie

Jamie

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Black Dahlia
Community Member
3 years ago

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A dark photo full of shadows. How intriguing.

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#20

Bobby

Bobby

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

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Face has a hardened look. Body not emaciated.

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#21

Lauren

Lauren

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Black Dahlia
Community Member
3 years ago

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She's making a list and smoking it twice...

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#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
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#23

Maria

Maria

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

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With her long legs, without drugs, Maria , could walk a long way from where she now resides.

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#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

Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

Both emaciated

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#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

Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

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Well ,then, you are an idiot.

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#26

Ashley

Ashley

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stephanie
Community Member
3 years ago

so F*in gross all that trash!! With the amount of taxes philli takes from its people they should pay for programs for all these drug addicts & show life style awareness man its so sad to see alot of WOMEN!!! YOUNG WOMEN to me is more concerning (even though all of these people, MEN TOO are heartbreaking to look at) but the younger women all probably have children & believe me its heart breaking to watch people give up their life but its so much more harder to forgive humans with drug issues when their putting children through it.

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#27

Diana With Her Kids

Diana With Her Kids

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

Looks like she is pregnant again.

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#28

Scrappers

Scrappers

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Black Dahlia
Community Member
3 years ago

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At least they choose to do something with their lives.

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#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

Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

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Was it worth it ???

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#30

Woman On East Sterner Street

Woman On East Sterner Street

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Black Dahlia
Community Member
3 years ago

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She doesn't count, she's black.

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#31

Jennette

Jennette

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

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Hardened by her current lifestyle. Sad.

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#32

Edward

Edward

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

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Could be anyone you pass on the street.

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#33

Crystal

Crystal

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Black Dahlia
Community Member
3 years ago

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What happens when you name your daughter "Crystal" and she ages past stripping and porn.

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#34

Unknown

Unknown

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

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Somebody help him, PLEASE!

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#35

Dalmata

Dalmata

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

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A chip on your shoulder carries you nowhere.

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#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

Black Dahlia
Community Member
3 years ago

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Better to have a door with no home than a home with no door. A door can keep you from drowning.

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#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

Black Dahlia
Community Member
3 years ago

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I wonder what two distinct and distant things he is looking at.

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#38

Christina

Christina

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

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Clean hair & clothes for now.

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#39

Nancy

Nancy

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

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So hardened by this lifestyle.

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#40

Nancy

Nancy

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CBN2143
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#41

Alex

Alex

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Trev Wils
Community Member
3 years ago

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and here is a dealer

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#42

Christian

Christian

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Black Dahlia
Community Member
3 years ago

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Looks more Muslim.

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#43

Jose

Jose

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Trev Wils
Community Member
3 years ago

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and another serving up

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#44

A Woman Stands On Kensington Ave

A Woman Stands On Kensington Ave

Jeffrey Stockbridge Report

Black Dahlia
Community Member
3 years ago

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That is a woman. And she is standing.

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