Kensington Avenue in North Philadelphia is well-known for its drug use and prostitution. The Avenue runs for three miles through a dangerous and crime-ridden neighborhood. Jeffrey Stockbridge, 36, documented the struggles and dark reality of local residents in his photography series Kensington Blues.
Between 2008 and 2014, the photographer captured a series of intimate portraits of people, capturing a side of Philadelphia that is seldom seen or discussed. The residents shared their stories, discussing drugs, prostitution, and other difficulties in their lives.
“The goal of my work is to enable people to relate to one another in a fundamentally human way, despite any commonly perceived differences”- Jeffrey shared on his website. “I rely on the trust and sincerity of those I photograph to help me in this process.”
Take a look at the powerful images below.
More info: kensingtonblues.com
"We out here so we can get money so we has somewhere to rest our heads. We look out for each other. If I can't get money, she gets it, and whatever money we get we share...We need quick money cause we need somewhere to sleep every day. I mean, trust me, we don't want to be out here doing this. This is the last thing I want to do. But I do what I have to do to take care of my sister. Cause she’s all I got and I’m all she's got."
"I don't just do this for drugs. I do this because I wanna eat, because I like to buy clothes, because I like the small things, you know. I did have a normal life once but...I really believe, like if my, if my family say like, "Mary come, come home stay with us" like, if I could I would..."
Maria: "I've been here almost 8 years and have seen a lot of bad things. They say that if you go between it, you'll do it too." Robert: "You don't need cable and you don't have to watch television. You just have to sit here. You see drama, soap opera, and violence and crime." "You even see sex," Maria says.
"I don’t really ask people for a lot, I get my money, like I don’t like to, cause a lot of times to get people to take care of you, you have to lie to them. And then lead them on and make them think that you're gonna get clean. And then, and then it ends up getting to be too much, where they’re trying to control what you do. And I’d rather just get the money and end it at that with no strings attached cause I don’t need someone following me around, trying to track me down like, trying to drop me off at rehabs and shit."
"What I’m doing I really don’t particularly care to be doing, but I do it anyway, and I’m not ashamed of it 'cause if I was ashamed of it, I wouldn’t do it....Until I decide to change it’s what I’m gonna do. Hopefully, like, the will of God...will make me strong enough and give me the determination to stop and get some help."