A Story of Poverty in New York City
A young couple in New York City try to panhandle enough money to raise a child.
December 27, 2014
Brooklyn based, Jamaican documentary photographer Ruddy Roye focuses on capturing raw and real images of normal, grassroots people. He has over twelve years capturing the lives of people abroad, as well as in Jamaica.
Two-year-old Riley never seems to leave his stroller as his mother, Brittany, and stepfather, Nelson, panhandle their way from street to street and borough to borough.
He eats little. Most of what he does eat costs less than 99 cents an item. That seems to be how the family budgets: all food and drink items must cost 99 cents or less. The rule doesn’t hold for cigarettes or K2, a marijuana substitute.
Nelson met Brittany at a shelter. Because couples aren’t allowed in shelters in New York City, rather than spend any time apart, they decided to live together on the streets with Riley. Riley’s stroller is used to carry their few belongings.
Text and photographs by Ruddy Roye
Nelson, Brittany and Riley leave a flophouse after failing to find a room for the night. “No vacancy” signs are a hazard of taking too long to beg for enough money.
In a park in Harlem, Nelson and Brittany argue about their finances.
After securing a room at a flophouse in Harlem, Brittany feeds Riley while Nelson contemplates which spots to hit early in the morning to get the next day’s food and rent money.
On a bitter February day, Nelson and Riley take refuge from the cold at a housing complex in the Bronx.
Riley enjoying one of his favorite foods, chocolate. His parents feed him a steady flow of chocolate and ice teas, items within their $0.99 panhandling budget.
The Other Hundred is a unique photo-book project (order here) aimed as a counterpoint to the Forbes 100 and other media rich lists by telling the stories of people around the world who are not rich but who deserve to be celebrated.
Its 100 photo-stories move beyond the stereotypes and cliches that fill so much of the world’s media to explore the lives of people whose aspirations and achievements are at least as noteworthy as any member of the world’s richest 1,000.