WALLINGTON, N.J. — Wallington philanthropist Phil Stafford is hoping a picture is worth 1,000 words when it comes to homelessness .
Stafford, who founded NJ Food & Clothing Rescue , has teamed up with a professional photographer to capture the "humanity" of homelessness in a coffee table book.
His subjects will also benefit most: All of the money raised through the book's sales go back to the non-profit outreach organization.
"There is a stigma associated with the homeless, where people don't want to look at them or talk to them," said Stafford, whose group provides food and clothing to homeless people in Newark every Saturday and rushes to the aid of others in need in North Jersey.
"Everybody has a story about how they ended up on the street," he said. "[W]e hope this book can show that the homeless are people like anybody else."
The photographer, Nestor Correa , is a Cuban immigrant who lived in Hawthorne. His inspiration to photograph the homeless came last month after visiting one of Stafford's outreach events in Newark.
"I was very interested in photographing these people in a different light and trying to capture the person in their face," said Correa. "I showed them to Phil and he liked them, so we decided to take it a step further."
Correa's subjects took a liking to the idea themselves.
"They're not used to that," Stafford said.
"This is a real passion project for me," added Correa. "I think it is important to give these people a face that will help other people understand what is really going on."