An Invitation To See The Faces Of People Who Are Unhoused: Wakili

Portrait of Wakili, who is wearing a white shirt.
Wakili photo by Steve McKenzie is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed

Meet Wakili. can make this introduction thanks to the fine work of Steve McKenzie, a portrait photographer. Steve’s portraits come with notes:

“Wakili is a gentle soul who reminded me of Quinton Aaron who played Michael Oher in “The Blind Side”. Some people can be expectedly guarded with strangers, but he was soft-spoken and approachable. He was pushing a shopping cart with a few of his belongings and cardboard signs and was kind enough to engage me for a bit. He said the most important thing he wants people to know that he’s a real person and a good person. I believe him.” was inspired to share Steve’s portraits after reading a commentary by Jennifer Gerlach in Psychology Today1. Ms Gerlach encourages us to experience the humanity that is so obvious in the faces of people who are unhoused. Steve’s portraits give us all an opportunity to follow Jennifer Gerlach’s invitation.


  1. You can read Jennifer Gerlach’s commentary here: A Person With a Face, Unhoused on a Cold Winter Night