HMLSS (2009)

‘HMLSS’ is a portrait of five formerly homeless men, of their world, as it now exists in between four walls and inside themselves. It seems like they are eternally balancing on the border that divides the street from society, and this results in a constant state of restlessness and agitation, but also into a form of fatalism.
Even though they are no longer living on the streets (of The Netherlands), they still have to deal with the consequences and effects of their stigma, homelessness. In some way, these men are the archetypes of all people that are being pushed to socially participate, but always end up facing a closed door.
By just photographing inside I want to depict how I experienced their world, which is pretty limited. They no longer live on the streets, but tangible things remain tangible and the one thing that is missing becomes even more clear: the connection with the outside world, other people, interaction, society. The only portraits are the ones of Martijn, one of the five men. For me Martijn ended up symbolizing that restlessness and agitation I experienced with all of them. With him, that restlessness, the frustration of carrying that stigma, seems to be taking over his whole being.
HMLSS. Homeless is what you read, but it is not really there. And homeless is not what these men are anymore. Yet they still live with it every day.
Materialistically they have a roof over their heads, a house and belongings. But on a social level they never really seem to get home.