TRACY BARBOUR

Blog

The blog of Tracy Barbour, a New York City Street Photographer and Photojournalist

For Their Service

"J" A Homeless Veteran of New York City - Bushwick 2017

I met "J" through a chance encounter coming off a subway platform in Bushwick. He was struggling to get his walker down the stairs. A man in front of me helped him down and as soon as they reached the bottom I approached him. J was wearing a Navy Veteran t-shirt and I could see he traditional Navy Veteran cap similar to the one my grandfather wore 

J's story is long and full of heartbreak, yet he remains vigilant in his determination to get out of his current situation. He has been through 2 tours, an IED attack, numerous surgeries, a death of a sibling, and separation from his only son. 

J is homeless. He is one of approximately 990 homeless veterans in New York City. In 2015, The Huffington Post, published an article that there had been a 40% drop in homelessness amongst veterans reducing the rates from 3800 to 990. 

That is still 990 homeless veterans. There shouldn't be any, period. There should be nothing that stands in the way of our country providing for those who gave their lives, their health, and their families to protect and serve. 

J gets 100% disability benefits from his service due to the IED attack that left him unable to walk without a walker and having to endure surgeries and a titanium plate. The attack destroyed his leg and pelvis. J gives a good portion of his benefits to care for his son. The remainder goes to care for his mother and brother. 

But New York City says J makes too much money to get housing assistance. I think these veterans deserve more for their service. Don't you?