cropped photo from Help Portrait-Milwaukee websiteDozens of homeless Milwaukeeans are improving their self-esteem with professional portraits from Help-Portrait Milwaukee, a local branch of the global initiative that arranges for photography sessions to benefit those in need.

The Repairers of the Breach homeless shelter hosted the event Friday inviting their regular clients to meet with photographers. More sessions were planned at other shelters citywide over the weekend.

Some of the participants planned to give the printed photos as Christmas gifts to family members not seen in years.

The objective of the program, according to the Milwaukee Help-Portrait website, is to show homeless or at-risk people that “they are valuable, respected and important members of our communities. They may be looked past on a daily basis but . . . they are beautiful and worthy people who may just need to see it in their hands to understand what we mean.”

The events are free of charge thanks to local amateur and professional photographers, licensed hair stylists, makeup artists and other volunteers. Over the last several years rehabilitation centers and nursing homes in the Milwaukee area have benefitted too.

To date, more than 200,000 portraits have been taken worldwide by more than 16,000 volunteer photographers in 60 countries, according to the international organization.

(READ the feature article, w/ photos, in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)


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