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Homeless, Not Helpless


After a decade of negotiations, the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center opened its doors on October 1, 2009. Built only a couple of hundred feet from a prison in Hackensack, New Jersey, the center is more than a shelter for the homeless and underprivileged; it is a symbol of hope and opportunity. Unlike most shelters that provide only a bed and a meal for the night, the BCHHHC is innovatively designed to be an all-inclusive location for individuals in need to go and get their lives back on track. The shelter offers medical care, advice on housing placement and assistance to take advantage of available services through various government and independent programs. This video won its creators a summer grant from to produce a multimedia project highlighting specific examples of how this shelter has helped lost individuals reintegrate into society and become active members of their community.


  • Summer grant,

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Homeless, Journalism, Kristyn Ulanday, Max Esposito, photojournalism, students

Kristyn Ulanday

Avant-garde Artist Jean Cocteau wrote in 1918 that “We are not dreamers, but realistic explorers.” Four years ago, Kristyn Ulanday walked onto BU’s campus a dreamer, expecting a challenging curriculum and bountiful opportunities.

She says she used to dream of exotic lands, Pulitzer Prize-winning stories and larger-than-life personalities. But once she began working on projects and learning from professors, fellow students and other photographers, her dreams changed.

Photojournalism became her way to see the world—a way to find honesty and truth in life. “Journalism is the collective story about the resilience of humanity,” Ulanday says. “It is my job to leave it for others to see.”

Max Esposito

Driven by a quote from Albert Einstein (“I wish to do things that are great and wonderful, but I must start by doing the little things like they were great and wonderful”), Max Esposito has experimented with journalism in many forms.

He discovered his passion for photography on the streets of Boston, with a simple point-and-shoot camera, taking pictures of empty paper cups, rusted fences, ants marching on a Goldfish cracker, broken glass and countless other obscure, everyday things.

“This passion has been nurtured by the good people in the Photojournalism department,” Esposito says, “the students, professors, and staff who have pushed me and my peers to work toward creating things that are great and wonderful.”