Friday, October 19, 2012

Letters that came with some of the cameras from the homeless

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mylar sleeping bags donation

A BWB angel just scored a matched donation of 100 (so total of 200) silver emergency sleeping bags for the Homeless Backpacks! That is an addition we have wanted for years.. and we are soo thankful!!

We are humbled by the support from Atelier Gothique & DAMNED

Buy an advanced DAMNED ticket from one of our retailers and you could win this $980 ring while helping the needy on our streets!

That's right...come to DAMNED with a physical store-bought ticket (you save on the door price) and we will don
ate a portion of the ticket cost to enter you into the raffle to win the Detroit Deconstruction Ring© by Atelier Gothique (or $980 credit towards another item)! Simply bring your stub after admittance to one of our lovely Devil Girls and they will give you a free raffle ticket ($5 value online) in exchange.

All proceeds from the raffle go to Burners without Borders Detroit, whose sole mission is to help feed and clothe those in need on our city streets through the hand packing and one-on-one giving of survival backpacks.

For details on the ring, the raffle and BWB, please visit:

To purchase your physical discount tickets, please visit these fine retailers:

NOIR LEATHER, 124 W 4th St, Royal Oak, MI

Showtime Detroit Clothing, 5708 Woodward, Detroit, MI

V-Male Detroit Vintage, 23902 Van Born, Dearborn Hts, MI

Tickets are limited in each store so get them before they are gone!

June 2012- Craig Fahle and the opening

June 14 

We were on the Craig Fahle show on WDET
You can here it here-
Thanks for all the support!! ..i hope it sounded good! i look forward to hearing it later and i look forward to seeing the images!

Show opening June 15

The show is simply designed in a wonderful room and the frames hold magical glimpses of the city from almost every angle! Great exhibition i will be visiting many times! ..and i am deeply amazed at the image on the BWB frame.. so thankful to all the people involved in helping make these voices heard!!

May 2012..Cameras were coming in ...

All through the Month of May cameras started showing up at my work where i had them mailed to...some were ever dropped off in person !

May 14
cameras get mailed today.. hope to get a few more in the mail by 3pm! fingers crossed. .. got a few notes back with some of the cameras... very powerful! i hope to be able to track people down and get stories once i have master dvd with images and make prints..would love to hear more stories!!
May 16
UPDATE.. mailed in the cameras..and got permissions from the dia for them to accept the ones that i supplemented over and above what they sent me.. cuz i only got 11 of those back and then 6 additional store bought ones... still hoping to get more in the mail though so i can process those and post them!!

Hitting the streets with Hima

Yesterday Hima and i hit the streets.. now i must admit i was really surprised when she hit me up on facebook saying she wanted to come..and i am honored too! Hima is this angel of a young lady, really quiet, really smart and super sweet.

I hit the streets with Hima and Khaaliq Thomas who has been documenting the project. I know Hima from her best friend Allison (or 19) who donates items to the project and has hit the streets a few times. The first time was a Christmas eve a few years back where she ended up playing football with a few guys tossing a wrapped up blanket!

It was a brisk sunny Saturday and i had a few places in mind where I thought I might know a place to find a few we headed to Michigan Avenue.

After looking in the area I suspected we found a few tents set up and pulled up. We got out and found three people.

Mr. Darnerl was 50 and underhoused, He was from Detroit and was happy to take a camera. He even told us we did not have to give him money all we had to do was come back and talk. He didn’t need a backpack, he told us to give it to someone who needed it.

People we would run into on the streets we would give them $10 to work on this project with us. Figuring it was collaboration and they deserved to have their time compensated for being an artist.

With Mr Darnerl was Tyrone he was 53 and had long dark grey dreads.
I had run into him before with his shopping cart. He was born in Detroit at the Herman Keefe hospital. He has been on the streets for about 6 or 7 years.

Tyrone got mad at Darnerl for telling us to not give him money, he wanted the money for sure and they quibbled about it a bit. Darnerl has a very big heart and you can tell he wears it on his sleeve.

I gave him a camera for his lady friend Miss Vicky and made him promise he would give her the money too! He put his hand on his chest and promised.

We had picked up a box of tangerines at Eastern Market and shared them with Vicky who showed up as we were getting ready to leave. Hima also gave her some cat food I had in the car as Miss Vicky has a white kitty whose name is ‘kitty’

Miss Jerry has long dreads and does hair. She grew hers out in 2007. While talking Tyrone interjects he wants to know how much the earth weighs. By this time they have figured out Hima is pretty smart and that is working to become a doctor!

We got to talking about how they fix things around camp as we could see their tent was pinned up. This is extreme camping way beyond Burning Man style…not sure most burners could handle this.. not sure I could.
Tyrone tells us with pride in his voice that he looks out for Miss Vicky. Hima let them know they can go to Henry Ford with any needs they may have as the hospital will not refuse them care.

Next we went to Spirit Hope Church to meet with Miss Jerry drop some extra supplies for the closet she runs to clothe people at the soup kitchen each Saturday.

Not sure how it happened but Miss Jerry and I got into a talk about forgiveness and she gave me a great lesson in the importance of doing so, which fits directly into personal work I had been doing. When we left I got a big hug from her and felt I had just been washed over with the best oration and lesson from God.  

Later on the streets by 75 and Mack we ran into Collin who was in a wheelchair, he is 38 and from Detroit. He has been on the streets since 2007 and lives in a tall building at the Brewster Projects. He served in Afghanistan ( Kandahar) He was shot in Kabul, he is racist and does not trust Muslims. Both he and his brother are homeless. He is hoping on a settlement from the VA. He claims he doesn’t do shoot up or do other drugs but he does like pop! We gave him a camera and a backpack.

Driving around Hima had an idea and I asked her to capture it in notes. For Easter 2013 why not get cellophane bags put a little holiday grass in them and fill them with fruit and candy to give out on the streets. I like that idea!!

I was so happy to have Hima along for the day. She is a treat to talk to. Khaaliq is so quiet that you hardly know he is there..and I mean that in a really good way. He never gets in the face of anyone with his camera, he is very respectful and I appreciate that very much.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Late 2011 and early 2012

I am sorely behind in my blogging for this project...luckily i text myself notes about most of the trips.. here are some of them from late last year and early January!

November 17, 2011

I got a facebook email from Rodney Curtis we used to work in the same place..he escaped! He was asking for my addy so he can send me a twenty spot for the project. Super nice of him..i send him my addy and tell him what I will buy..hand warmers of course…he writes back; “Excellent. Thanks for doing something good and positive that others, like me, can glom onto and pretend WE'RE the ones helping out. The cash is already in the mail.” He has been sick and this year has helped him realize some things in life..and I told him he is an angel...we can NOT do what we do without the help of people like you!! Then we volleyed with the compliments; What a nice message there, Danielle. But the Goddesses honest truth is that it's folks like you who are the angels. Us? We're just doing the easy bits. Thank YOU for being so generous… and to him I said.. “we are all we are all doing the good just the brave..or stupid one ...hehehe!! Thanks Rodney..sending you love!” he received the love well..

December 25, 2011

Amen. I had 3 backpacks loaded next 2 me in my car as I exited near my house & I ran into three people on the exit ramp. So thankful 2 have enuf. yea! I feel so bad when i run out. Meet who Char asked me to pray for her and her sister in- law Dede..and their friend Raphel new to the area and on the streets.

December 26, 2011

Meet the exit ramp of Moross and the Edsel ford freeway (I-94)

December 27, 2011

Many thanks to Babs and Target for the $50 gift card donated to BWB. Used the donation for hand warmers.!!

December 29, 2011

Backpacking with 19 we met up with Eric and Fred Wilson who is a left leg amputee in wheelchair. We met him by Sweet Water Bar on the edge of Greek Town. He was really peaceful and very friendly. We also found 4 guys on the sidewalk vents by St. Andys.

 January 4, 2012

 Squirt from BWB home base got up a new blog on the main website about our efforts in Detroit. Much gratitude;

January 9, 2012

I had this Detroit photographer email me about wanting to hit the streets with me to shoot what we are doing. I have been leery of this in the past for feeling uncomfortable about having people feel exploited. But I asked him what his intention was for the project and he working on three projects where he feels one person can make a difference. And made sure he understood that this project is soo not about one person. That this can not be done without the help of many people. He totally understood. So I took Khaliqu on the streets with me to give him an idea of what we do, he did not take his camera with him which I really respected about him. We cruised around downtown and we meet Gregg who spelled his name by writing it out with large gestures. I do not think he could talk cuz he was wrapped up head 2 toe. He was on the corner of Jefferson at Griswold. It was starting to rain and I had ponchos so I gave him one. He didn’t want a backpack but he did take some food. He was a very kind and gentle

January 9, 2012

Later we run into Brian on the edge of Greek Town by the highway ramp. I recognize him and he me. We greet as its been awhile and I ask him how he is. He says he has it bad..his health is really not doing well. He tells me he is staying at Operation Get Down at Harper & Gratiot, which is on the east side. And he is working to get his id..knows he should Go talk 2 Ms Evans at NSO to help him. He had a backpack and a bag but I still gave him a sack.

January 9, 2012

 Ran into another man, Mike at the 75 service drive at Monroe. He was eating & accepted a bag. He was close to where we ran into Brain -perpendicular actually across the highway. After in front of St. Aloysius at Grand River and Washington. I saw a man bedding down with cardboard who didn’t want to talk. He only said ‘food’ so I emptied a backpack and gave him all the food.

 January 10, 2012

Meet Lester Karen near the Lodge by the MGM..gave him a backpack and he asked if I had any money..uh no sorry. Always a weird thing for me to say…not only because it is 99% of the true but because how do I explain to people and sound convincing? I guess I feel like people may think I am not telling the truth. Should I care.? Should it matter? idk??

 January 11, 2012

I don’t recall but I think I was Hooker or maybe with Jess and Nick. ..or just Hooker and Nick. Either way.. we are at the I75 entrance ramp and 6 mile. And I see a man collecting bottles on median. I get out to talk to him and offer him a back and he is excited and he grabbed me and hugged me and thanked me…and I have to admit...i kinda freaked- only internally but then I instantly then chilled out as I was ashamed of myself. And I gathered myself and asked him his name.. and he says to me.. “Who shot him? on Dallas” and it took me a second to catch the 1980s pop culture reference and then I sai-. Jr! He laughed as we said our good byes!

January 11

We next run into Gypsy at 75 and 8 and her owner in a military helmet. Who was aggressive but not scary. He has lots of energy. He is friends with Mike who hooker helped a little bit before. On the other side of the highway at 8 mile.. 75 and 8 on the south side.. Hooker helped a woman named Carrie. She was pretty you and white and her skin was messed up and her teeth were really bad. She was really nice and grateful. To be honest we suspected meth...based on her looks. Busy area- Hooker also jumped out and helped a very nice guy at curved over pass that goes over75 on the way toward 8 mile. His name was Mark. Younger white guy. And the last part of this area.. We talked a really tall and super nice black man with perfect teeth and a really big smile. He was very friendly and thankful. His name was Jay.

January 13, 2012

BWB was mentioned in the Hamtramck Review. “Time to take a stroll back through the year” back-through-the-year/

Sunday, April 08, 2012

its a bag..its a shoe..its both!

Check this out.. my friend David A. posted this on my facebook page a while back and its awesome. I reached out the designer Mike Forbes cuz the project is amazing and because he is creating them in Detroit. He wrote back and told me he is working on the next version to" refining the design, materials and supply logistics to optimize the concept. I anticipate having small batch of pilot models available by fall." We plan to stay in contact in hopes of being able to collaborate and help each other out! Ulterior Survival Bag


Saturday, April 07, 2012

Miss Sharon

Friday night after work i stopped to talk to a woman by the Lodge and Howard. I have seen her many times before and given her supplies. As i walked up I asked her if she remembered me..she did not. this is not surprising due to all the faces people begging on the streets must see. I talked to her about the project and once she got it she was all about it!! she told me her name was Sharon and she is 57.. interesting 3 out of the 6 cameras out on the street for this project are 57. She is from Detroit and been on the streets 6 years. While we talking she has her back to traffic and i saw a van like a block away and the driver had a white box out the window them pulled it was about this time i had given her $10 for being involved in the project and when the van passed she started to yell at him.. and i started to wave him down as it seemed important to her and she was all upset that talking to me made her miss him. i asked why she wanted to talk to him and she told me he gives her doughnuts every that what was in the white box. I felt bad but she seemed to be able to roll it off pretty quick and we finished talking about the project. I am glad to have a woman involved in the project!

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Friday, April 06, 2012

i meet a tweaker!

so this morning..i am running super duper late for work..everyday this week i have been..the trip back from SF to Chicago and driving from there to Detroit in one day has messed up the girls clock.

but i am at a corner near Cass Tech and i see a guy and i have no time..and he not looking at me so i admit i was like cool i can just stay on my route..then i think..'you....' and i roll down the window and say hello and he is on it and telling me his name is Andrew and needs some help. he is homeless and he sits on the curb and is looking up at me and i put the car in park toss the hazards on and i get out..and i shake his hand and help him up..i dont wish to look down..its nice and sunny though a bit cold and he is telling me needs x amount of money to get somewhere and rattle the addy off.. i tell him i can help him and ask him if he wants to work on a project with me..and tell him about it..and he is totally cool to do it..
and as i am talking to him..he twitched his head a few times and asked him where he was at and he told me ..."i'm tweaking out right now." and i was like wow..but not judgemental or anything and asked if he was ok..he told me yea and i gave him the camera and the stamped envelope and $10 and he told me he needed $13..i told him he gets $10..he was like ok..!

he was like "i can just drop in the mailbox'..and i said 'yes..document your life for one day.. and then please share it by mailing it back'. i took a picture of him..with his head bowed as he didn't wish to have his face shown..i thanked him for letting me do that. i forgot to ask him his name..he was in his late 20's early 30' i would guesstimate and had crystal blght brown eyes

I don't much about tweakers..but i have heard they will organize the shit out your stuff one day..then the next day steal it. ..not sure if that is an accurate statement..but i do know i would really interested to see his pictures. fingers crossed

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Mr. Lonnie and A.C.

Our next encounter was with two gentlemen on a in a wheel chair.

from my car i asked if they needed a supply filled back pack they said i flipped on the hazards as i always do and hopped out..i waved to the car behind me to go around and lifted the hatch back..

i got them two black one red..the stand gentlemen was quick to say 'i want the black one' yet so did he friend and it would have been better for his friend due the red one being a sling and harder to get around the arms of the back of the wheelchair..which is how i always hook the packs i give to mean in i gave it to him..and went back to search my car for another regular pack and had one!!

while i did this Megatron was hanging out and talking to them about the camera project..getting there names and information and having a smoke!! she is awesome like that. Lonnie is 52 from Cleveland Ohio been on the streets between 5 to 10 years. A.C. is 63 from Detroit and been on the streets for 9 years. and its 'A period C period'..he made sure she got that right!

and after i gave A.C. his bag..Megratron of course let me know so i could address him ..right then someone yelled at me..and i turned around.. and i see this huge orange MDOT truck and a guy yelled at me to come over to him

so i excuse myself and climb up on the truck and say..'what!!!?'... he has a smile as big as the truck and asks if we do this on our own..'yup' i tell him and he says 'you dont get funded or anything do you?'..i said 'nope..i beg and borrow and scape' and he looks me in the eyes and tells me i am a child of god. i acknowledge his comment with a small humble nod. he hands me a $20 bill..and i spy 2 $5's and ask if i can have those instead... that i cant break a 20..he tells me no but that i can have all of it. i tell him i dont need the 20..he tells me to take and get off his truck he has to follow the crew who is filling the road holes.. i laugh and jump down and he sends me off with a great smile!

i run over to Mr. Lonnie and A.C. and give them each a $5 and tell them it is from that man. and they bless him.. Mr. Lonnie then leaves.. and Mr Arthur shows up as i am organizing the car so Megatron and finish her conversation with A.C. and her smoke.

I have seen Mr. Arthur before and i give him a good pack and he allows me to take his picture.

Megatron soon rejoins me in the car...and its about the time traffic is dying less men are i decide to drive by some points where i hope to find some others i regularly come across and would like to get cameras too..but no luck.

I plan to break that $20 to give to the next two people who wish to collaborate in the project... til then

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Gentleman on the corner..

While look for Mr. Pixler Megatron and i came across another gentlemen at a different corner and got out to talk to him about the project after he said he did want a backpack.. and i for the life of me can not recall his name.. :( but i remember he was the same age as Mr. Pixler 57.

He todl us he lives wherever he can mostly on the streets not in shelters..and that its not easy and he is trying to make it.

He was full of gratitude about the backpack which i made sure was well filled and i have him $10 and he was shocked and could not get over that and told us he would do the project and blessed us.

Too so many people $10 is nothing...i know what it means to me..its a meal..hell could be 2...i can only imagine what it means to someone on the streets.


YEA>>.i found Megatrons notes..sister you are a goddess

so his name is Sydney!!

he is 57 been on the streets since 2007

he told us he just found out he has prostate cancer and graves disease and has been going to Receiving hospital to get help but is trying to get out UM from Detroit to get the help he needs.

i wish Mr. Sydney the best of luck in his recovery and am sending him like i do all the people i meet love and energy!

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Megatron and Doxie hit the streets

Thank you to Meg Norris..With the help of a brand new volunteer (Megatron) we got 17 cameras into labeled and stamped envelopes and hit the streets this past Wednesday.

We got the first four cameras out .. and i took photos myself. Have 5 lined up to give out Saturday at a soup kitchen in corktown, and i am sending 4 to burbs for people at a church that helps vets i think. I have 5 left to find my favorite guys and ask them...and one for Miss Vicky if she changes her mind... fingers crossed.

Took notes on the gentlemen who took the cameras today and got pictures of all but the 1st guy..i had such a good talk with him i forget.!

so here are the notes.. lets see if i can translate..

first gentlemen we talked to was by the MGM Casino on the service drive..popular place to be before and after normal work hours to hit up the the commuting crowd.

I asked the gentlemen if he wanted a backpack and i got out to get it for him then he told me he didnt want one too much to carry around. (that was a first..and i was happy he was honest).. and then asked him if he would be interested in a project i was doing...and went on to tell him about it and how i would love to let him have his voice speak in images to people who may never hear him or much less even look at him..he said he knows that feeling.

I asked him his name and told him mine. He is Don Pixler, from the Detroit Cass hes been around.. esp since its been renamed Midtown to make it more palatable to the suburbanites who associate the corridor as a place of homeless, prostitutes and drugs...thats the corridor i moved into and love! I was 'poor in the corridor' for a very long time.

Mr. Pixler is 57 years old and when i asked him how long he has been on the streets ..he shock his head and told me...too long. I felt his pain.

He was happy to be involved in the project and told me he would do it right away and was an honest man and could be trusted to it..i told him i believed him.

I told him i had a museum pass for him but he declined it. i asked him it was too difficult to get he told me he didn't have anything to wear there. i told him it didnt matter he could exactly as he was but he told me he was too full of shame to go. i told him i understood how he felt.

I showed him how to operate the camera and i gave him $12 i had in my pocket.

then we left.. and then i instantly remembered i forgot to get his picture with the camera i am using and went back to find him..but he was gone.


his not feeling he could go to the museum is exactly why this project is important to me. He feels shame and that he would be judged for being who he is by the white walls of the hallowed space or more to the point the people who frequent these places will not accept him.... and part of his fear is spot on...we ignore the homeless..the undesirables.

we do not have to see them.. we are able to blur that part of our vision where a person stands asking for money. we are able to stay safe in our cars, we figit with the radio, play with our cells, we look away stare at the traffic light wishing it would turn green faster to ease our discomfort, anything but look at that person and at least say hello and tell them sorry we can not help.

which makes his voice so much more reach an audience he may never have a chance to tell a small portion of his story to.

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I am so blessed

The community of people around me are amazing.

Thanks to being involved in the Burners without Borders (BWB) global talk group when i posted about the homeless photo project..i had people stand up to organize and set up a face-book event page..(thank you so much Jennie Kay) ..and then the Seattle BWB community is willing to lend us of their NFP paypal account to accept donations.
And people are offering to hit the streets with me to find people to be involved in the project to have their voices voices! and others are willing to take cameras to get them to people in areas i cant reach.. i am so blessed

thank you to everyone!

small bow


Detroit Revealed in Photography, Through the Eyes of the Homeless

Detroit Revealed in Photography, Through the Eyes of the Homeless

Burners Without Borders (BWB) is participating in the community photograph program Reveal Your Detroit, connected with Detroit Institute of Art's Detroit Revealed: Photos 2000-2010 exhibit.

Reveal Your Detroit is a community-based project designed to solicit the public's creative response to the exhibition. The project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation'

Doxie, the BWB Detroit representative, has gotten twenty disposable cameras to give Detroit Homeless the chance to express their story to people who may never encounter them and vice versa the ability to speak loudly with bring more attention to the issue in our community.

She has taken the initiative to get envelopes, addressed them, and added postage, so each participant will be able to mail the camera back to her, so she can deliver them back to the Musuem. With these cameras, comes museum passes for the particpants, and she has taken the initiative to also give them a bus pass to use as they please.

Doxie has been a true community hustler in getting this often unseen perspective in the common view, using her own funds and helping find donations.

In addition to this project, Doxie has been on a backpack-campaign giving out scores of backpacks, blankets, shoes and other helpful items to Detroit's homeless population.

Our friends, the Seattle Chapter of Burners Without Borders, have generously offered to utilize their website's donation link to help get funds to make these programs even more effective.

If you would like to participate in this event or Doxie's backpack program and would like to donate to the cause, it's easy....

Go to:
Click on the Paypal Donation link

Make sure you put "DETROIT" in the comment box, so they know where the funds should be directed.

If you have any questions or comments on this project, please feel free to post them on the wall.

All your support is appreciated.



Project for BWB to help the homeless have a voice..a photo voice

Hello everyone..

I am so excited to share this.. today i had 20 disposable cameras
given to me with 20 museum passes.


well we have an exhibition at the DIA right now entitled Detroit
Revealed where artists shed light on how they see the city.

well as a component to this ..they have asked for community
organizations to get involved ;
"Reveal Your Detroit" -'In conjunction with Detroit Revealed:
Photographs, 2000-2010, the DIA is hosting Reveal Your Detroit, a
community-based project designed to solicit the public's creative
response to the exhibition. The project is funded by the John S. and
James L. Knight Foundation'

I submitted and was called and explained to them how my idea was a bit
out of the norm.. as they wanted each org to bring people to see the
show (they supply the tickets) and then get the kit and go out and
shoot the city from the orgs p.o.v.... so i explained to them that i
wanted to give the cameras to the homeless and that i may not be able
to get people to the museum for many reasons.

But that i wish to give Detroit Homeless the chance to express to
people who may never encounter them and vice versa the ability to
speak loudly with bring more attention to the issue in our

so i plan to buy envelopes and address them to myself and pay for
postage..then ask homeless to either meet with me in a day or two in
the same place or to mail me the cameras. I will give them the museums
passes as well as a bus pass to use as they please.

I am really excited about this opportunity to hear from a community
that most often times has no voice, so they can share first hand what
ever they wish too. I know this may not be the most excited of images
but it will be a form of documentation that a journalist may not ever
be able to be achieve unless they were able to be embedded and build
trust. I truly hope this will be something the people i have
relationships with on the streets are willing to collaborate in.

I know i may only get a few cameras back..and that is totally ok. i
understand that...if i get one back i will be excited and pleased.

I plan to take a picture of each person i give a camera to with the
camera i hand to them as well as with another of the cameras so i know
who has each camera and get a small bio on them to accompany the

I am full of hope that this projects works out as it has wonderful
potential to make an impact!

thanks for reading
~doxie ...from D-troit


Behind in blogging...ahhh

Oh i a so behind in my blogging about the winter of 2011/2012.. bad.

i need to figure out a way to dedicate an hour a week to keep up..i do though have a bunch of emails to myself with reminders of things i wish to talk about and will do that May 1 i will be all caught up.. promise to myself.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

BWB Blog!

Thank you to BWB's Squirt for creating and posting this blog.. she gleaned posts from this blog i keep on the project!!