In the early 1990s, Susan Lankford rented an old San Diego jail for commercial photography. The homeless in the area, curious about the woman and her work, frequently watched from the sidelines. Before long they began to befriend her, to trust her intentions, and to tell her about their world.
The result is downTown U.S.A., the second in a trilogy of books on crucial social issues published by Humane Exposures Publishing. Lankford's penetrating photographs, rich personal narrative, and candid interviews are supplemented by contributions from the street people themselves, creating a compelling portrait of a population at risk. Insightful and empathetic, Lankford never passes judgment on her subjects. Instead, she urges her reader to take a closer look at the at causes as well as the consequences of homelessness, and to seek solutions that will create a better future for all of us.