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Seattle photographer chooses homelessness to help engage with local community

The professional photographer has given up his "normal" life to live on the streets to help the homeless feel human.

SEATTLE — Seattle's homeless crisis is forcing all kinds of people to come up with ways to help people living on the streets.

Rich Villacres is helping in his own way. He's choosing to be homeless, living out of his vehicle and offering free portraits to those who need a little extra love.

Villacres, who's behind the website jackdaw.love, was a professional photographer before deciding to give it all up and move into an old military vehicle on the streets of Seattle.

'Hella' is serving as his mobile office, as he visits various shelters in the area to put his photography skills to work.

"The first time I approach one of these agencies its interesting. Because they're like, where's the cost," Villacres laughed. "This is something nobody would ever expect to get when they're in these situations."

But for Villacres, it brings him a sense of purpose and gives the homeless people he photographs a moment to feel human. 

"There's something about a portrait. It's a special moment," he said.

Villacres is not applying for welfare or any government assistance. For now, he hopes his savings account holds up to keep his way of life going.

"When I lay down and go to sleep, I feel satisfied with what I did that day," Villacres said. "If this was my last day, I know did a good thing."

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