The portrait project at The Living Room is keeping me joyfully busy these days, collecting the stories of these women who have become my friends. They have all been homeless and many of them still are. They have that is common, along with other things I couldn’t have known about without spending hours listening to them. They possess a kind of hard won wisdom and a desire to minister to others who are down on their luck.

. . .Like Carmen, who leaned in to tell me her secret, “Sleeping on the streets you learn to be grateful for what you do have, and it makes you strong.”


Carmensita is almost always to be found by her side.  She is the white “Yoda” in the stroller below. Likely she is dog sitting the large hound by her side.





  1. Your dedication to The Living Room is inspirational, Susan. Do you give these finished pieces of art to your subjects or are they going to be hung at the shelter for all to see?


    1. Thanks Penny. And what a good question, which I’ll answer here but also in a later blog post. I am now hanging the framed portraits in the dining room at The Living Room for the women to see. And the participants will receive an art quality print of their portrait. Many of them have nowhere to hang a picture, let alone store it, and some chose to just have a picture of it on their phone. The originals will be in a traveling art show along with the book.

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