UAH students reveals truth behind homeless through photos - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

UAH students reveals truth behind homeless through photos

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

A senior art project for one UAH student turned into much more.

When Aaron Sexton was asked if truth can be found in art, he decided to explore that question through documentary photography. He chose the homeless as his subjects, but they soon turned into more than just an integral piece of his project.

As he got to know each and every one of the men and women he photographed, he learned the truth behind their stories and what led them to become homeless.

There is Patrick, a man who lost his wife and kids in a horrific car accident in which he was driving. Never able to get over his loss, Patrick now lives on the streets.

Then there is Willy: a mathematician that earned a Ph.D and was once a university professor but such a high level of understanding of mathematics left Willy unable to cope with the simplicity of everyday life.

And finally, there is Jodie. Hers is a life once riddled with prostitution and addiction. Now three years sober, Sexton says Jodie told him that, even though she is homeless, she is the happiest she has ever been.

That happiness is something Sexton said he picked up from almost every homeless person he encountered.

"I was surprised at the amount of joy and love and gratefulness they all shared with each other. It helped me to realize that the wealth of life is really found in our relationships."

Sexton only photographed 18 people, but there are more than 1200 homeless in Huntsville. If you'd like to help them, and other people in need, you can donate to the WAFF 48 Can-a-thon.

It's happening this Thursday. To donate, you can find a location in your community.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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