Lack of shelter, abundance of character

I spent Christmas Eve with the homeless. Contrary to popular belief, these people are far from being miserable. They may go through some miserable situations, but that doesn’t change their personalities. During today’s celebration, I saw more joy, excitement and passion than I’ve ever seen at my own Christmas celebrations.


But there was suffering too. The man pictured below got into a confrontation with another man who tried to steal his belongings. Unfortunately, I couldn’t capture that moment, as a nearby police officer told me to put my camera down.


I saw bare feet and filthy clothes, empty alcohol bottles and crack pipes. People slept on sidewalks covered in plastic bags. But these negative sights don’t make me think any less of these beautiful people.

Their spirits were high today, as they celebrated Christmas just like the rest of us. Feliz Natal.

Until next time,

Cara Wilwerding

About Cara Wilwerding
Cara Wilwerding is a senior journalism major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She grew up in Omaha, Neb and started her journalism career at Omaha Westside High School. She writes for the Daily Nebraskan’s arts and entertainment section in addition to taking photos. She’s also traveled to São Paulo, Brazil, for a similar photojournalism project with the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. This summer, she will work as an editorial and multimedia intern for, float down the Niobrara River and play a fair amount of ultimate frisbee. After graduating next spring, Wilwerding hopes to continue writing and photographing for an arts and entertainment publication.

3 Responses to Lack of shelter, abundance of character

  1. Cara — I loved your pictures. You are right…there are many beautiful people without a home. We have done some work in Kansas City with the homeless……have a Merry Christmas.

  2. Ann P. Wilwerding says:

    Wow, Cara. Your pictures and writing continue to impress me. I’m proud of you. Mom

  3. Scott says:

    Willdwering is killing it! You guys are doing great. I thought Cara would be the weak link… (that’s a joke). Wish I were there. In the Florida Keys thinking of you sometimes.

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