faith & grace
homeless woman
san francisco
february, 2006

homeless robin from sonoma sitting in a doorway on the outskirts of hayes valley; she has two grown sons still there (one 22 and one 35). she doesn't see them much; but they speak often.

she recently got caught in the cross fire of a gang shooting. one bullet went through her arm. the other went through her groin and is lodged near her spine.

she says it's only by god's grace that she survived.

she lives on her ssi benefits; she chooses to live on the street rather than give it all over for housing.


bahia simons-lane says: wow. this shot really captures a human essence. 3-2-1 -- 01:07AM, February 20, 2006.
ManonManon says: O,excellent portrait!!!:) (1-2-3) -- 01:09AM, February 20, 2006.
vicki 99 says: Such a range of thoughts and feelings are evoked by this shot. Nicely done in B&W...perfect. -- 01:11AM, February 20, 2006.
jehwriter says: Wow. What a picture, what a statement. -- 01:21AM, February 20, 2006.
ToBNot2B says: sharp! -- 01:26AM, February 20, 2006.
BrittanyS the UNICORN says: Her eyes drew me in from the thumbnail, and keep me staring at this image even now. An amazing capture, and an amazing story. -- 01:28AM, February 20, 2006.
Araleya says: Sensational -- 01:57AM, February 20, 2006.
EricAdmms says: lovely eyes -- 01:58AM, February 20, 2006.
always a spring says: thank you for the story behind her eyes. 123 -- 02:08AM, February 20, 2006.
WAYNE HIEBERT kingston photographer says: A haunting photograph...If only God had a bit more grace. -- 02:52AM, February 20, 2006.
JPuck says: Very difficult to discribe this one. Her distant eyes and leathery face are indeed haunting. -- 03:07AM, February 20, 2006.
Memaxmarz says: yes, her eyes are speaking volumes, excellent photograph. -- 03:21AM, February 20, 2006.
sahst23 says: Chills up my spine. My God - what are her sons doing? Did you get the sense that they have tried to help her? -- 03:54AM, February 20, 2006.
scottehumphrey says: This shot is absolutely amazing. You've really outdone yourself here! kudos!!! -- 05:03AM, February 20, 2006.
roger_alcantara says: oh my! very powerful! you can see the story of her life in her eyes... and in the details on her face. -- 05:04AM, February 20, 2006.
pierre pouliquin says: Very nice portrait, thanks for putting it in context. Respect! (it seems a bit ridiculous here, but: 1-2-3) -- 08:01AM, February 20, 2006.
Claude Renault Photography says: a moving portrait.. beautiful -- 10:14AM, February 20, 2006.
Nekominn says: You have amazing portraits, just spent last hour looking over them while I should be working. -- 10:20AM, February 20, 2006.
Molly Simoneau says: fabulous. I love it. -- 02:35PM, February 20, 2006.
lafemmeritz says: wow, it's really touching and beautiful -- 03:54PM, February 20, 2006.
surplusparts says: This is definately worth a thousand words. -- 05:09PM, February 20, 2006.
nailbender says: So very touching. -- 05:39PM, February 20, 2006.
Mario Marcante says: total strange great shot and edition -- 08:48PM, February 20, 2006.
iderah says: oh, I have no words. moving. -- 09:13PM, February 20, 2006.
soleá says: this foto has a soul.. very very impressive -- 10:18PM, February 20, 2006.
Juzzz says: Love it! -- 08:23AM, February 21, 2006.
NickDD says: Stunning! -- 10:47AM, February 21, 2006.
Evren Sahin says: great portrait.. -- 02:50PM, February 21, 2006.
n8wood says: Amazing shot, nothing else to say. -- 05:56PM, February 21, 2006.
brewpez says: Wow ! Intense. Keep up the good work ! -- 04:28AM, February 22, 2006.
Michelle Miramontes says: this is an amazing portrait, her expression can say so much, congratulations! -- 04:57AM, February 23, 2006.
Fack to Bront says: :: applause :: Again! -- 06:32AM, February 23, 2006.
Christian Grosch says: Woooooooow!! Congratulations, nice shot, good Portrait! -- 03:28PM, February 23, 2006.
auwa says: I'm speechless! -- 09:12PM, February 23, 2006.
alight says: there is no barrier between her eyes and her soul... thank you, stoneth .. by your acknowledgment of her, you honor her worth.. (this image could have been photographed by Edward S. Curtis circa 1900..) -- 09:00AM, February 24, 2006.
'SeraphimC says: Stunning. Simply stunning work and story. Amazing. -- 06:04PM, February 24, 2006.
A@lbi says: Simply amazing. What a portrait! -- 07:16PM, February 24, 2006.
stoneth says: lauren bahia: thanx! MaronManon: :)))) VickiVale: Appreciated! jehwriter: :))) ! ToBNot2B: :) BrittanyS: Thx so much! Aralyeya: :)))!!! eric9660773: :) :) :) always a spring: certainly! WAYNE HIEBERT: we can all do with more grace :)) JPuck: Indeed! memaxmarz: danka! sahst23: they talk; but i guess they just do their own thing... not anything i can comprehend (???!!!???!!!???!!!) humphreyphotography: danka danka!!! :))) roger_alcantara: yes you can... when we look :) pierre pouliquin: Thank you!!! :))) Claude Renault: thanks for stopping by!!! and thanks!!! Nekominn: Coooool! :)))) molly_merrick: :))) :) lafemmeritz: thk u :))) surplusparts: :)) nailbender: :) ! MARIO MARCANTE: good to see you back about!!! thanks! iderah: :)))))) !!! solea: thankx! but just a poor copy :) Juzzz: :)) NickDD: :) :)) :)) Evren Sahin: :) Thanks :) n8wood: Thank You! . brewpez: thanks!!! Michelle Miramontes: :) I'm glad u like :) Thanks! Fack to Bront: You're awesome... again! (Thanks!!!) Christian Grosch: Thx!!! :) auwa: :)))))))) alight: wow! kind! thank you much! SeraphimC: Thk YOU!!!! :))) @lbi: Thanks a lot! :)))) -- 08:11AM, February 25, 2006.
Susan B. says: exceptional. So soulful and powerful. Cuts right through the bone. Your street portraits are superb. -- 09:28AM, February 25, 2006.
sbaracchina says: She reminds me of a character from an Eisenstein film. Amazing shot & set. -- 11:07AM, February 25, 2006.
dvaires says: Sad but not exploitative. Wonderfully empathetic. Thanks. -- 07:06PM, February 26, 2006.
txiribiton says: ok i think that i have found a mine cfull of gem portraits, nice to meet you & your photos! -- 09:22PM, February 26, 2006.
Unhindered by Talent says: A spectacular portrait. The beauty and depth in her face is quite remarkable. -- 11:18PM, February 26, 2006.
Ravi Vora says: fantastic values! -- 07:08PM, February 27, 2006.
btezra says: ~your continued pursuit of honest, true, powerful, emotional street portraiture moves me, inspires me, deserves recognition...would you please add this image to the BRAVO group pool, it would be a fine addition!~ BRAVO!!! -- 11:55PM, February 27, 2006.
Gale Franey says: Very moving photo, and troubling story! -- 07:46PM, March 02, 2006.
hyonle says: hidden away behind those eye lies a heartfelt tale. i'm sure of it. a sad and beautiful shot. -- 06:23PM, March 09, 2006.
chichi banana says: this is an amazing photograph. -- 04:11AM, March 10, 2006.
Ryan Formanek says: I was immmediately reminded of the National Geographic photo of the Afghani woman with the breathtaking eyes and expression. I think you did something great in this photo. -- 04:25PM, March 24, 2006.
Huda. says: Amazing shot ! Just looking at her eyes you can see she's been through a lot of pain :( ~ FaV ~ -- 04:25PM, April 01, 2006.
jorgedbbt says: Stunning photo! -- 06:19AM, April 05, 2006.
The Grand Duchess says: Reminds me of a face straight out of a Bergman film...very penetrating & intense -- 05:49PM, April 10, 2006.
LOlandeseVolante says: It is hard to pick one, but this is the most intense portrait for me. What is the color of her eyes? Do you know Tracy Chapman song "Subcity"? Do you mind if I post it? Subcity (From the album "CROSSROADS") People say it doesn't exist 'Cause no one would like to admit That there is a city underground Where people live everyday Off the waste and decay Off the discards of their fellow man Here in subcity life is hard We can't receive any government relief I'd like to please give Mr. President my honest regards For disregarding me They say there's too much crime in these city streets My sentiments exactly Government and big business hold the purse strings When I worked I worked in the factories I'm at the mercy of the world I guess I'm lucky to be alive They say we've fallen through the cracks They say the system works But we won't let it Help I guess they never stop to think We might not just want handouts But a way to make an honest living Living this ain't living What did I do deserve this Had my trust in god Worked everyday of my life Thought I had some guarantees That's what I thought At least that's what I thought Last night I had another restless sleep Wondering what tomorrow might bring Last night I dreamed A cold blue light was shining down on me I screamed myself awake Thought I must be dying Thought I must be dying -- 11:21PM, April 13, 2006.
Ilaria Maccari says: This is my favourite -- 08:25AM, April 14, 2006.
scottehumphrey says: I still find myself coming back to this shot time and again! It's truly outstanding. -- 07:29PM, April 14, 2006.
a+x says: So much suffering in her eyes -- 03:56AM, April 18, 2006.
Ignacio LPM says: Preeminent. -- 02:02PM, May 03, 2006.
Erika Lujano says: wow! what face! it's impressive! you have excellent portraits of urban life! -- 03:18PM, May 04, 2006.
kiddharma says: Just now stumbling onto your set; can't say much more than other have already said in praise for these potraits. This one--in fact, several of these--remind me of Edward Curtis' indian portraits; just something about the light... -- 02:00AM, May 13, 2006.
Kashklick says: I love your portraits, very real and very beautiful. -- 09:52AM, May 14, 2006.
eyewashdesign: A. Golden says: Upon first sight in thumbnail, I thought this was that photo of the woman & her children made famous during the Great Depression. How interesting that this tiny thumbnail evoked this particular time period? In a country where the gap between excess & poverty seems immense, many, many, many of us are only a few steps away from Robin's life. It is amazing that she says, "it's only by god's grace that she survived" the shooting! We have much to learn from this strong woman. Bravo! -- 07:53PM, May 26, 2006.
*Irina* says: I would die for seeing this one in colour...just because of those eyes! Such an expressive portrait! -- 09:16AM, June 06, 2006.
miquelet says: your work is really excellent sometimes, like in this one it reminds me a lot the italian neo-realism ;-) -- 06:50PM, June 26, 2006.
Pierre-Elie de Pibrac says: for all your photos (homeless) i can only say: FANTASTIC , BRILLIANT, we can see your subject's soul!! how do you do it ? do you ask them ? -- 02:33PM, July 25, 2006.
MattEdgePhoto says: Your work has great depth. Powerful!!! -- 02:29PM, August 04, 2006.
Solitaire Miles says: SSI benefits are nothing to live on. Most times it's around $600 a month. Nobody lives high off the hog on disability. There are no easy free rides for these people. Some states have better social packages, some don't. It's disgusting, how America takes care of it's disabled and mentally ill. Other First World Countries with higher standards of living, (Canada, UK, Austrailia, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland), don't have so much of this. Mentally ill people get the medical and psyhciatric support they need. There's no money here in the US for them, it's all going to Iraq and big business welfare programs. -- 03:53PM, August 08, 2006.
sahst23 says: Please add this photo to the BRAVO Group. It is fantastic!! -- 02:39AM, August 17, 2006.
little_stitcher says: She looks like Vanessa Redgrave-the British actress -- 10:02PM, September 03, 2006.
guzzie says: Oh yeah! -- 01:58PM, September 04, 2006.
mandyonearth says: Made me sad for hours, beautifull pictures. -- 04:20PM, September 12, 2006.
sahst23 says: when i was in SF a few weeks ago, i don't know why, but i thought i might see this woman. i don't know where hayes valley is located. i didn't end up seeing her but your collective poverty work really has documented this social ill (for lack of a better phrase). oh, and excuse me if i didn't see your shot in the bravo group before. i now see that craig, btezra, had already invited you... -- 02:06AM, September 13, 2006.
MarthaRiley says: I just discovered your work. I am so glad for you and your work. Thank you for the faces and the stories. -- 08:03PM, September 15, 2006.
bike queen says: Robin..has wonderful eyes,glimpse of light there i see...they must be blue..reminds me of Dutch 16th century paintings...long faces,typical hats for that time...looking like these sculptures of saints you see in churches...stone faces.... -- 06:15PM, September 19, 2006.
Fayyaz Ahmed says: amazing amazing shot!! Wat a subject and wat great tones! -- 12:20PM, November 23, 2006.
AntonioArcos aka fotonstudio says: your portraits are absolutely amazing, a great work full of human essences, fantastic!! -- 03:06AM, December 09, 2006.
johncpiercy says: Stoneth ... all your portraits are very moving , particularly this one ,, You can feel the hurt , through her eyes Do you offer assistance when you see them ,, or do they ask for cash or food ? amazing work ,, -- 09:43PM, December 26, 2006.
JakeBrewer says: I'm at a loss. Your work is extraordinary. In each photo I feel as though I'm looking into the soul of your subjects. That sense is perhaps best captured in this portrait. Thank you for doing the work that you do and sharing it with the world. -- 06:39AM, January 16, 2007.
oOXsavedXOo says: I've found no one on Flickr, or anywhere else online for that matter, that can capture emotion in a single glance as you do. -- 03:51AM, May 06, 2007.
✪ patric shaw says: this is a very beautifully human portrait well done -- 01:34AM, May 07, 2007.
Richard R. says: Amazing shot. -- 12:00PM, July 15, 2007.
Rafael Pieroni says: You give them back their faces that our struggling system insist to take away. -- 04:57PM, August 02, 2007.
Athenamama says: Your work is so reminiscent of Dorothea Lange. Had I seen this particular shot anywhere else I would have sworn it was the work of Lange. Hardly have I ever seen such touching, dramatic work in all of my flickr experience. What you posses is more than just "talent". -- 08:40PM, September 12, 2007.
bill4pics says: Rivals the well known Afghan woman's picture in National Geographic! Terrific! -- 06:47AM, December 02, 2007.
Debbie C.B.'s says: Hi, I'm an admin for a group called BEST in B&W photography, and we'd love to have your photo added to the group. my favorite poem RINALDO AREANAS My Lover the Sea I am that child with the round, dirty face who on every corner bothers you with his "can you spare a quarter?" I am that child with the dirty face no doubt unwanted that from far away contemplates coaches where other children emit laughter and jump up and down considerably I am that unlikeable child definitely unwanted with the round dirty face who before the giant street lights or under the grandames also illuminated or in front of the little girls that seem to levitate projects the insult of his dirty face I am that angry and lonely child of always, that throws you the insult of that angry child of always and warns you: if hypocritically you pat me on the head I would take that opportunity to steal your wallet. I am that child of always before the panorama of imminent terror, imminent leprosy, imminent fleas, of offenses and the imminent crime. I am that repulsive child that improvises a bed out of an old cardboard box and waits, certain that you will accompany me -- 10:35PM, December 05, 2007.
SuperKarmen says: ..the life.. is so hard. -- 08:23PM, December 28, 2007.
thedeming says: Poor lady! Makes me angry to think no one would help her, no one would care. We walk through life not caring about the next person, maybe that should change. -- 05:55AM, April 07, 2008.
thedeming says: She seems as though she's had sadness beyond tears. Her heart aches to the point of pain. She feels so alone. She's given up after fighting many rounds, battling life. For some of us are lucky others are not. But the fact is, any of us could be in her shoes. Sometimes life is tough and we're so lucky. -- 05:57AM, April 07, 2008.
*Arango says: i ve found your flickr today. its so beautiful serious and important work. -- 06:26AM, April 22, 2008.
brancusi7 says: because you show their innate dignity it becomes, for me, a gallery of saints. -- 08:37PM, July 10, 2008.
lightizerous says: I'm too weak to realize how much pain in this photo !!! I wish everyone sees this photo ! It's the best portrait I've ever seen, full of emotion. -- 11:54PM, November 05, 2008.
d0.0b says: your entire set on poverty is very interesting. there are some truly great portraits. some of them remind me of Dorothea Lange's work. -- 03:41AM, January 26, 2009.
pcorp2009 says: This is amazing -- 06:47PM, June 11, 2009.
IAMSAMART says: love this series, very inspiring -- 03:01PM, August 29, 2009.
bananajode says: Wow...what an amazing portrait and story. And yes, I agree with d0.0b — Dorothea Lange's work definitely comes to mind when viewing your photos. EXCEPTIONAL. -- 11:05AM, September 19, 2009.
DebShiny says: don't understand why one of her sons would not take her in. She doesn't want to part with the money for housing....well..Pops doesn't want to either. He lives here. She needs family. Guess I don't get it.. -- 02:38AM, September 30, 2009.
Lars Lejring says: Great work! -- 09:48AM, December 13, 2009.
Steffi Kuiper :) says: It just goes to show that peace comes from within, and no one can take peace away from you. -- 06:32AM, January 31, 2010.
Carla Y. Brown says: Hi, I'm an admin for a group called ALL WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL (P1/C1), and we'd love to have this added to the group! -- 03:51AM, March 25, 2010.
kk7k says: Hi, I'm an admin for a group called MY FLICKR FAV's (Invite a Friends Photo), and we'd love to have this added to the group! -- 01:24AM, April 20, 2010.
malexandra says: Stunning. Simply stunning. -- 11:51AM, April 30, 2010.
Gary Breashears says: That's a very stirring photograph -- 04:48AM, May 05, 2010.
nenkinha says: So fabulous! Great job, lov'it. -- 03:20AM, May 21, 2010.
anjoudiscus says: Troublant et superbe portrait ! -- 01:05AM, September 15, 2010.
aaeastes says: those eyes are haunting. a wonderful capture and story behind it. -- 05:44PM, October 25, 2010.
Hredwith says: strong street portraits, the story behind those poeple should/could be recorded -- 05:48PM, November 02, 2010.
stoneth says: thanks muchly:) -- 04:19AM, November 15, 2010.
BRIANOSS says: Astonishing portrait! -- 04:49PM, November 15, 2010.
ben neb says: ..................... !!! intense -- 11:07PM, January 09, 2011.
joushlo says: My favorite face. The eyes are handsome Bob from design your own tattoo -- 07:40PM, September 11, 2011.
stoneth says: Thank you. One of mine as well:) -- 11:22PM, September 30, 2011.
jmachin says: ufff!! -- 11:02PM, November 18, 2011.
decembre says: ★ Thank you too for your post in Portrait★Faces Continue... -- Seen in some comments. (?) -- 09:12PM, January 11, 2014.