A small community magazine tackles the homeless situation.
My name is David Guzman and I’m 21 years old from Orange County, California. As strong advocates for the homeless community, my brother, Stevie, and I run a small photography magazine, Solace, which we sell and use the proceeds to buy meals for people on the street. In a nutshell; a person buys a copy of Solace for $10 and we hit the streets searching for someone to befriend, and if they’re hungry, we purchase whatever meal they’d like.
People often ask why we do it or how Solace even started. Well, about three years ago, my brother and I moved to Southern California. We grew up in a middle-class, closer to a lower-class family. Getting through high school with hardly a dollar in our wallets every week. Vivid memories of sitting in fast food joints watching friends eat full meals while we just salivated and stared, holding back from wanting to ask for a bite. But these moments lead to Solace.
Soon after moving to Southern California, I landed my first job and started to make a good amount of money for an 18-yr-old and all I wanted to do was give it away. Around the same time of landing my first job, my brother and I fell in love with film cameras and analog photography, but we weren’t shooting much. One day, I had an epiphany and texted Stevie about how blessed we are and how we need to take advantage of Orange County and go explore. That led to countless weekend train rides along the coast and countless photographs. Every trip we made, we would encounter the homeless and supply them with food and meals. It was the best feeling in the world. It made sense.
A few months later I had stacks of film photos just sitting in my room and it hit me to make a small zine (personal magazine) just for myself; hence, Solace Volume 1. A handmade and dorky looking photography magazine. At this time, I had a copy of Vol. 1 in my hand not knowing what to do with it. And then, it hit me. Another epiphany. Sell these zines to generate money to help people on the street. And I did just that. Never did we ever imagine that two years later, Solace would lead to hundreds of meals, countless new friendships with the homeless and six existing volumes—continuing to do just that.
So, why do we do it? We are the voice of the homeless community. Our goal is to show that a homeless person is simply a person without a home. We have met the humblest, most grateful and most beautiful people on the streets. Most importantly, we do it to build friendships with the homeless. To show them someone does genuinely care about their well-being. It’s all out of love and doing what we can while we can. Solace is a small photography magazine with big plans to impact society’s judgment about the homeless community. Thank you.
See photos at:
www.etsy.com/shop/SolacePhotoZines, www.instagram.com/solacephotozine, www.instagram.com/yourfrienddavid or www.instagram.com/fatboybutter/
Previously printed on People’s Tribune. Reprinted with Permission.