Real Humans of Columbia

James Photo Edited 1
James Allen sits on the corner of Broadway and Ninth Street in Columbia, Missouri, on Thursday, May 18, 2017, and asks people passing by for money. Allen has been homeless since he moved to Columbia from Tampa, Florida, four years ago. He said he came to mid-Missouri, because he “wanted to see a part of the country he hadn’t seen before.” Allen also said the summertime is a difficult time of year for homeless people in downtown Columbia, because there are less students around to help them.


Marlee Photo
Marlee Baldridge walks through Peace Park in Columbia, Missouri, on Friday, May 19, 2017.  Her mood is electric, as she beams with pride over her job as a comic editor at Fan Girl. A self-described geek, Baldridge is living out her childhood dreams drawing comics and commenting on the comic world. She is a big fan of the Southern Bastards comic series, in large part because of racism she experienced in her hometown. She came to MU and to Columbia to escape that racism while at the same time follow in the footsteps of family members who have gone to school or worked at MU. Since coming to MU, she has developed a new perspective on her experiences growing up. She said she has learned to view it as a “good history lesson for myself.”
Luis Final Edit
Luis Cruz strolls around downtown Columbia, Missouri, on Thursday, May 18, 2017, less than 24 hours before his High School graduation. Cruz will graduate on Friday, May 19, 2017 from Hickman High School in Columbia. Originally from Northern Mexico, Cruz came to the United States in hopes of getting a better education. Adjustment to life in Columbia was not easy for Cruz. Since his English is not very good, he says the language barrier has made things very difficult for him. He has however, found success on the soccer field and recently even earned himself a scholarship to play soccer in college.