No Place Like Home: Foreclosures in America



Since the housing market crashed in 2008, millions of Americans caught up in the sub-prime mortgage crisis have lost their homes. This is not a secret in the communities that live with foreclosures. The devastation is shielded from the eyes of other sectors of society, however, including many of those that caused it.

For over two years, I have been documenting foreclosures in some of America's hardest hit communities: Fort Myers, FL; Detroit, MI; and most recently, with support from the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, Fresno, CA. In addition to photographing, I interview Americans who have been evicted from their homes, or who are facing eviction, and who have been launched into a devastating cycle of suffering: family life becomes unstable; children are at risk; violence increases; and communities disintegrate.

Going to Nevada next is key to my project. The place was a mortgage casino, with developments popping up like mirages. Now they have the highest unemployment rate in the country and are caught in an impossible foreclosure spiral. I want to spend three weeks there, photographing and interviewing people touched by foreclosures, similar to what I’ve done in Florida, Michigan, and California. I am absolutely dedicated to tracking this story across the country and making sure people can’t escape what foreclosures actually look like. We can’t let this be swept under the rug or reduced to statistics. Only by showing the human cost is there any hope for systemic change.

You can see my earlier work on foreclosures here and on the Emergency Fund website. I will make this work available to advocacy groups working on the housing crisis.

The funds I’m asking for will cover my travel costs in Nevada for about three weeks, film, and a sound tech for interviews. Every extra dollar will go to extending the project to additional neighbourhoods and communities. I'll keep working on this story as long as I can stay on the road.

The stories of the lives of Americans caught in the great recession need to be told—and I need your support to tell them.

Bruce Gilden

To see more work by Bruce, see the extensive online portfolio, In the Flash, that we previously published.