See How We Are

When the Miami Coalition for the Homeless wanted a photo study of the area's street people population, it commissioned the homeless themselves

The photo project, he says, "is a great concept. But I think it won't do a thing [to help the homeless situation]. It's time to examine the needs and put a new spin on the whole face of homelessness. People have become jaded. The financial structure that's in place right now is badly managed. Which means the community has to suffer. People with art galleries have to open their businesses with someone sleeping, defecating on their doorstep. Then they have to call the police. Initially everyone was alarmed [by homelessness]. Then they got burned out on it, but the problem was getting worse and it's not going to go away. It's affecting the quality of life for the community."

The theme of "normal" society clashing with people who live on the streets runs through the photos Smith shot. "I'm not into drinking and partying," he says with a straight face. "I'm into art and business." Does that statement sum up his pictorial point of view? Smith shakes his head no. "What I was trying to say was, "'Stay cool and carry a spare pair of shades.'

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