Thumbnail image for this story (this will show up on the stories page of the site):
Relevant issues for this story, separated by commas (eg. war, race, gender):
Poverty, Religion
Geographical region for this story (eg. Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia):
North America
Relevant key words for this story, separated by commas (eg. Africa, Hurricane Katrina, Mother Teresa):
Homelessness, African-American, USA, Charity, Faith, Religion, New York
A short summary for this story that will go on the stories page (1-2 sentences):
This story shows a woman who has devoted her life to helping the homeless people of Rochester. Through documenting this mission I furthered my ideas of photography promoting awareness, understanding and activism.
Ronald Amstutz

1991 — student runner-up

I am currently working on a picture story that documents a woman who has devoted her life to helping the homeless people of Rochester. Due to my belief that a photographer must be responsible for the images he creates, I have used my photographs to make people aware of the dedication she has for others. These photographs were also instrumental in motivating people to help organize a drive. The images, in conjunction with this help, led to considerable donations of canned food, clothing and money.

In this photo essay, I would like to show a single woman’s impact on the lives of so many unfortunate people. To accomplish this, I will continue to photograph her feeding ad caring for these people in her home and in the homeless shelters she has founded. In addition, I would like to show the significance of the church and the strength it gives her to carry out her mission. Through documenting this mission I will further my ideas of photography promoting awareness, understanding and activism.

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"God filled me with the Holy Ghost right then and there and from that day to this day, I have never been the same. I've been runnin' for Jesus" - Mother Washington Ronald Amsturtz/Alexia Foundation
Brandon and Jessica, who have been staying with Louise while their mother is pregnant, play on the steps. Ronald Amsturtz/Alexia Foundation
Louise prepares Thanksgiving dinner for the people at the shelter. Ronald Amsturtz/Alexia Foundation
Deborah moved into Louise's house with her children because she was lonely. During her pregnancy, she was given moral support to deal with her problems. Ronald Amsturtz/Alexia Foundation
Morning is one of the most hectic times of the day. Deborah gets ready to send her kids to school and day care. Before Louise thinks of all the things she must accomplish that day, she relics, drinks a cup of coffee and enjoys a conversation. Ronald Amsturtz/Alexia Foundation
Robert, Louise's adopted son, has wanted a girlfriend for months. He has finally found one and she is the first that he has ever told he loves. Ronald Amsturtz/Alexia Foundation
Louise's caring attitude makes everyone feel at home in the shelter. A newcomer is welcomed with open arms. Ronald Amsturtz/Alexia Foundation
Mother Washington soothes Deborah. "I feel good cause I had a chance to help a life. A life being brought into the world. A life that could have been gone, down the drain in a sewer somewhere, but she's here, fat and healthy." - Mother Washington. Ronald Amsturtz/Alexia Foundation
Sister Cheetham (left) has been instrumental in helping Louise start a Christian home for men with a new church below it. Even before the church opened she was already praising God with with Sister Cambell (middle) and Tina. Ronald Amsturtz/Alexia Foundation
For the men in the Christian home the road back to society will be a hard one, but with Louise's help anything is possible. Ronald Amsturtz/Alexia Foundation