Doug Bruns

Posts Tagged ‘Homeless’

The Gentlemen of Baltimore, Kevin

In Life, Photography, The Examined Life, Writing on July 5, 2012 at 6:00 am


Another profile from The Gentlemen of Baltmore.

Kevin had a nice smile. He was a handsome man. He had been in prison for ten years and has been homeless since getting out, three years ago. He sometimes gets a bit of work in a restaurant and sleeps outside, alone. “Basically, I keep to myself. I just try to fit in amongst society.” We talked while standing in line to the free city Thanksgiving Day meal. He was anxious to get his dinner and wished me a happy holiday as he went inside.

Gentlemen of Baltimore, Wayne

In Life, Photography on June 21, 2012 at 6:00 am

Wayne, Age: 45

From the Gentlemen of Baltimore project, Wayne, age: 45

Wayne noticed my camera, a Leica. “Good camera,” he said. “Expensive. German made. I used to have a Yashika.” He told me he had taken a photography course, had take some shots at the Inner Harbor and hoped to sell them to a magazine. “But I’ve got no mailing address.” He told me he had mild mental illness. “I’m trying to get on my feet.” He had been on the street eight years, since losing his job. “Some people had something against me and got me fired.” He continued, “When I was a teenager I did stuff to take care of myself. You get tired of going to jail. When you get old enough to do right you’ve already got a record.” He had not had a shower in two weeks. “I don’t feel good about myself. I’m dirty.”

Gentlemen of Baltimore, Mohammed

In Life on June 14, 2012 at 6:00 am


Another story from my 2005/06 project on homelessness in Baltimore. I heard a lot of tales, tall and otherwise, while doing this project. Mohammad’s was one of the more unusual.

“I’m going to legally change my name to Mark. I have trouble at the airport with the name Mohammed. Only trouble is, I don’t have the money to run the ad in the newspaper announcing the name change. Somebody  told me that was necessary.” I asked if I should call him Mohammed or Mark? He said to call him Mark. He was kicked out of the Marines. “Officially, I was kicked out for the inability to expand effort authentically. I think it is just the corps’ way of getting rid of people.” He said he had some civil rights problems that he hoped to straighten out soon. After that, he wanted to go back to Asia and teach English. “After living in Alaska, I went to China. I taught there for three years and seven months. Some of the time I was in Liaoning Province and some of the time I was in Heilongjiang Province. My life in China was simple. I had a girl friend, a three-room apartment and the food was fresh with lots of fish. Not like the food here, fried and bad for you.”