What is Fifty Sandwiches?
Fifty Sandwiches is a 501(C)3 nonprofit project dedicated to presenting the public with a rare glimpse into the lives and experiences of America’s homeless. With a goal to close the gap between public perception and reality, Fifty Sandwiches aims to foster the realization that there is more to homelessness than being homeless by creating an emotional bridge between readers and struggling strangers they walk past every day.
Spread the word of Fifty Sandwiches and fund the project via Kickstarter
Circumnavigate the country documenting the stories and faces behind America’s homeless by offering sandwiches in exchange for interviews
Cram the stories into a book, using homeless profiles to encourage public awareness and understanding.
After purchasing Milo, my 1990 GMC Vandura for the hefty sum of $1200, I embarked on my three and a half month journey throughout the United States. Coasting at a cool 13 mpg, I sought sleep in Walmart parking lots, street corners, and state parks. Armed with a camera and a recorder, I reached out to homeless shelters and programs throughout the nation, splitting my interviews between shelters and people I approached on the street.
The interviews were informal, intimate discussions lasting anywhere from half an hour to three hours. Each chat evolved into a dynamic collection of life struggles, stories, and philosophies from a population rarely given a voice. Upon departure, my only expectation was to have no expectations, yet somehow I often found myself bewildered. Each interview revealed a new shade of light to the spectrum of homelessness, showing me a color I had not seen before. Each story served as a bittersweet reminder that I had little to no grasp on the sheer depth of an issue that I had thought myself to be well understood.
I quickly realized my mission outlined in the Kickstarter to capture a collective face to homelessness would require 500,000 interviews. Each story was far too distinct from one another to categorize as an entire subset of the culture. While each individual story aims to humanize the homeless through emotional connection, the compilation of profiles now serves as a testament to the sheer diversity of the homeless population.
These are stories that want to be told and need to be heard.
Check out some of the amazing stories and experiences of America’s homeless here.