As a case manager for Hope Action Care, a small non-profit organization in Downtown San Antonio, I had the privilege of documenting the stories within our community for our outreach program in 2012. I quickly learned that diversity is what made our Downtown area so special.
Growing up in Stone Oak as a teenager, I recall friends and family only visiting Downtown for special occasions. After moving Downtown, and through my work as well as personal exploration, I learned it offered so much more. I immediately became interested in how I could share the story of Downtown San Antonio. After learning about the Humans of New York project, I felt that starting a sister project in San Antonio would help promote the story of Downtown from an authentic point of view.
We’ve shared hundreds of stories over the years, but there’s one that still sticks out to me and serves as a reminder of the passion and pride within our community.
A few years ago, I was walking down St. Mary’s looking for someone to photograph for the Humans of San Antonio project when I noticed a young lady walking towards me from the River Walk. I stopped to ask if I could take her street portrait as we crossed paths. She turned to me and said, "Why would you want to take my photo, can't you tell I look terrible today?" After a moment of silence, her eyes turned red as she began to cry. I asked her what was wrong, and she told me her roommate had stolen her belongings and all of her savings. As a single mother with two children, this was a huge setback. She later gave me permission to take her photo and share her story on social media. Within moments of sharing her story, people within the community reached out to provide support anyway they could. Most people offered gift cards, and one young man even offered his lunch money for the next day. Stories like this drive home that San Antonio is a place where people have your back and genuinely care about each other.