Women of Providence House
Providence house serves to transition women who are homeless and recently released from incarceration back into society. The organization is not institutional but run by the religious Sisters who founded and still perform many of the essential duties within the several scattered houses around New York. The Sisters live in the same housing with the women and children, sharing dinners most weeknights, as well as weekends together. The women at these houses are in an exceptionally volatile moment of their lives, most having just left prison, some having served long sentences for violent crimes, others victims of domestic violence and homelessness. This is a temporary safe haven for the women here and in that short time they are guided and must find the means to overcome their fragile state of being and find the tools to face the hostile and uncertain future beyond the boundaries of the house.
We were instantly drawn towards this incredible environment and set out to make portraits of some of the women.
We spent hours with each woman going back multiple times to gain their trust before sitting to be photographed. The stories they told of their pasts were often harrowing and upsetting but their hope for a better future was a common thread. Rather than unveil their insecurities we wanted to bring out the shear strength, resilience and determination of these women. For a short period in their lives they had found a safe refuge after forced confinement or homelessness, within the borders of Providence House, in which to find a new life.