Sunday, March 25, 2012

Until "They" Have Faces

I have been awake all night, I couldn't crawl under the blankets until 3.30 am, and even then I couldn't sleep but kept tossing and turning with fear and worry. By 7.30 am I had the energy of a sloth on librium, but I still couldn't sleep.
This fear doesn't seem to end, and the situation has grown steadily worse over the past 24 months leaving me on a precipice with no place to turn.

I have no idea what to do now to save myself, and the plans I have tried to map out seem insurmountable. Time, energy, physical and emotional ability seem so lacking.

Starting a yard sale to sell everything we own on a Monday doesn't seem feasible, but I have to work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and I need money before Friday. This entire situation is spiraling out of control and miracles are in such short supply. I feel so alone and so lonely.

By 9.30 am I was so emotionally exhausted I had no idea how I was going to load the truck up with more belongings, possessions that I am going to have to sell having clung onto the remnants of our lives for four years. To say that I am angry is an understatement.

No one ever fantasizes about being homeless. No one ever aims as high as to be without a roof over their head or a place to work. No one ever has aspirations of losing everything they have worked a lifetime to attain. No one ever consciously decides that at an age others are retiring, they will be supporting a career criminal. No one ever believes that others will become wealthy by taking your all.

I desperately want to find normal because there is no "normal" in being homeless.
By 2 pm I had managed to fill another truck load of belongings but my broken fingers and tumors on my spine had doubled me up in pain ~ and rain clouds hovered above. I decided to postpone delivering and unloading the truck until sunrise tomorrow morning. Prayerfully I will have a good night sleep and be wide eyed and bushy tailed by then.

New book paints portraits of Boulder's homeless
Until They Have Faces' to benefit Bridge House, BOHO

There is Hope, with her service dog, Baby. They rescued each other.

There is Terri, who was once a concert violinist and lost her violin when her locker at the Boulder shelter was cleaned out while she wasn't there.

There is Don, the "High Plains Drifter," whose distinctive, flamboyant feathered hat will be instantly recognizable to many Boulderites.

"Until They Have Faces" tells the stories of homeless men, women and children in Boulder through portraits and essays.

Husband and wife David and Elle Page, of Niwot, conceived of the idea for the glossy coffee table book after working on a Boulder Creek cleanup that included some two dozen homeless volunteers, along with people from business, nonprofit and government backgrounds.

David Page, a professional photographer, and Elle Page, a leadership and communications consultant, went in different directions along the creek and struck up conversations with some of the homeless people who had come to give back.

The people they met inspired the book.

"At the end of it, our hearts were changed and touched, and our stereotypes and biases were challenged," Elle Page said.

During the car the ride home, David Page, whose work usually includes wedding, portrait and fine art photography, said he wanted to capture the faces and stories of Boulder's homeless and present them in a coffee table book.

"I tried to capture their personality," he said. "I tried to give them the same respect I would give any portrait subject."

Often, his paying clients will want to take a last look in a mirror before the shoot. His homeless subjects seemed to have more confidence or self-acceptance, he said, though not necessarily satisfaction with their situation.

To put together the book, David and Elle Page frequented the areas of Boulder popular with the homeless -- the public library, the creek path, the bandshell in Central Park -- with Joy Eckstine, who was until recently the executive director of Bridge House, Boulder's day shelter and service provider for the homeless. Many of the photos were taken in these locations.

David Page took high-quality portrait photographs of the subjects. Thirty-five volunteer writers met with the subjects, interviewed them and wrote their stories.

Sixteen months later, "Until They Have Faces" will be officially released at an event Saturday at Cornerstone Community Center, one of the sites of Boulder's rotating overflow warming shelter.

The book profiles 48 individuals, couples and families, most of them homeless, some of them formerly homeless, and some of them people whose lives are intimately connected to the homeless through the medical care and other services they provide.

"I had to come face to face with biases that I had," David Page said of the process of doing the book, his first. "I want people to confront their own biases. The book gives people an opportunity to meet people and read about them in their own words. I just want to give people an opportunity to have an interaction that they otherwise wouldn't. Then they have to make a choice."

Elle Page said she hopes the book breaks down stereotypes and reminds people of the basic human dignity of the homeless.

"This opened our minds that there isn't one kind of homelessness, and people have their own hopes and dreams," she said. "We hope people in the mainstream will realize that."

Some of the subjects of the book now have housing. Others who had it have lost it since their portraits were taken.

A number of community groups and businesses, including several Rotary clubs, the Community Foundation, the International Baccalaureate Club at Niwot High School, Urban Mattress and each of the Page's own business, donated the $9,000 necessary for the first print run of 500.

That means 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to Bridge House and Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow, which runs the warming shelter.

Ken Miller, director of Project Revive, which organized the creek cleanup that kicked off the whole project, said the book is a good example of the type of collaboration he hopes to promote.

"I hope it develops the sense that we're one community," he said.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Erica Meltzer at 303-473-1355 or
There has to be someone related to Robert & Sylve Huckins must have some means to reach them, if it be Michael Huckins, Dr.Kenneth Ogilvie ( Diana Huckins? Dominic Huckins? Malcolm Huckins? ) or Patricia Ogilvie-Huckins and get them to return ALL of the money they stole from us so that I can buy a home and get our lives back. I am begging anyone in this family for help.

I don't believe I have EVER witnessed any none vio
lent crime that can be as devastating as stealing someone's home. I am walking in Dorothy McKeevers footsteps, day by day, month by month, year by year.

Liam Griffin, I sat in your law office with two witnesses as you gave me your promise, your guarantee, that our money would be returned before harm came to us.

Patricia Ogilvie-Huckins you were present the day I signed contract with your son. You walked out of the kitchen with Sylve Huckins and your son introduced me to you. He told you that I was the British horse trainer he had told you about, the one he was going to build the home and barn for. Why didn't you say something? There may be a rational and reasonable explanation but I have spent over 3 years, homeless, not understanding it. I understand it even less knowing that though I was a total stranger, both Dorothy McKeever and Sally Canning you KNEW, and you knew what your son had done to them and others.

Dr. Kenneth Ogilvie, I contacted you and simply a
sked for a reference, not knowing that Robert Huckins was your cousin. Robert Huckins had just stolen over $30,000 from the domestic violence shelter, HEAL, yet everyone was trying to hide it. There was a history of stealing large amounts of money. $65,000 PLUS from Nancy Canning. $89,000 PLUS from Dorothy McKeever, $45,000 from Francis McKinney. The list just goes on and on and on.
Because of Robert Huckins I ended up paying
$140,000 to be homeless.. sat in the cold, emotionally, physically and financially broke. In the middle of a recession, with no way to recover the stolen funds.

Today Robert Huckins has his own home...
He also has OUR home.....
He also has a lot of people's money...
And his freedom.

Women are not banks or loan institutions. Women should not be the source of a retirement fund for people who don't want to do an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. Holding women hostage while playing with the judicial system, a horrendous game of cat and mouse extending YEARS, with the victims whose very homes, families and stability are in jeopardy is cruelty, as cruel as a physical beating. It is financial and emotional RAPE. Homelessness is not justice. It is a slow, painful death.
Please, I beg with everything I have within me, pl
ease convince Robert Huckins to stop this torture and return the building fund he stole from us so we too, can have a home.

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Those who boast of their descent, brag on what they owe to others. ~ Seneca