SideWalk is a non-profit that provides rapid rehousing to those who are homeless in Thurston County, Washington. Combining their grass roots engagement with evidence-driven practices has generated unprecedented results. In less than three years, SideWalk moved 500 people off the streets, out of shelters and into permanent housing.
Anthony Georgis is a Portland based photographer whose philosophy is to keep moving forward. Paying his dues for a decade as a photo assistant, Anthony caught his big break shooting for Levi’s on a 30-day trip across the United States. His fresh approach to photography has been featured in Communication Arts, PDN magazine and honored by the Advertising Photographers of America. Anthony’s personal work centers around youth culture, intimate portraiture and capturing authentic moments. He is intrigued by images that leave room for both imperfection and interpretation.
Whether working on advertising commissions or personal work, Anthony's process is always the same. Work simply, be true to the subject and help them tell their unique story.
To bring Project Wake Up Call to life in Olympia, photographer, Anthony Georgis, was tasked with creating a photo series that uncovered the living situation of the homeless community of Olympia, Washington.
Sam, who feels safer sleeping in the woods than in downtown.
Filling out a rental application is hard when you don’t have an address.
Neil has recently secured an apartment with the help of SideWalk.
A woman shares a clipping she's been carrying around of her dream bed.
“It’s hard to keep all this paperwork dry. I need it for everything.”
Bill is a fixture in downtown Olympia.
"We watch each other's back"
Sleeping under a street light.
This is Rhino. He's been a self proclaimed tramp for most of his life, but he says he's finally done. He was accepted to an inpatient rehab program and was looking forward to his last night.
“All I have is a box, someone stole my backpack.”
A former camp under the bridge. In the background is the state capitol building.
"My ID was stolen. Sometimes it feels like I don't even exist"
A woman who recently secured an apartment with the help of SideWalk.
"When I arrived in Olympia I was confronted with a massive winter storm that dumped almost 4 inches of rain on the city. It was impossible to be outside without getting soaked, and even the sturdy rain gear that I’d packed was no match for the storm. It was too wet to shoot, so I spent the first two days talking with people, asking them how they were doing and about what they needed. One of the most common requests was so simple, warm dry socks. I immediately purchased a couple of big bags of socks to hand out. One pair for now, and one pair in a ziplock bag for later. The look of joy in someone’s eyes when you tell them that you have something as simple as warm dry socks for them is impossible to describe.
The other thing that many people spoke to me about was the feeling of being invisible and unwanted, or worse yet, experiencing an active animosity and outright condemnation that included slurs and verbal abuse. They described how difficult it was to break that cycle of shame. To struggle everyday for their basic needs. To have no place to go, not knowing if they would get into a shelter that night or if they’d have to sleep on the street or in the woods. Not knowing if they would be safe.
Many of the people I spoke with were hardworking people who had run into unfortunate circumstances. Some had jobs and had been actively working to find a home and rebuild their lives. Others struggled with addiction and mental health issues that kept them on the streets. All were human and in need of some compassion and empathy."
Overlooking Capitol Lake, Hotel RL is set on 12 lush acres in the heart of Washington State’s capital. This ideal location boasts 192 spacious rooms that welcome guests with breathtaking views, while complimentary Villy Custom bicycles provide instant access to endless outdoor opportunities. Associates take pride in being both local experts and active members of the community. Project Wake Up Call is one of many ways the Hotel RL team stays immersed within their evergreen city.