This is Robert Dortch. He is one of the many residents in a neighborhood that fellow photographer Jez Coulson and I were visiting. Robert was the first person we had interacted with, in fact he approached us to warn us about a group of young men shouting at us. He was quick to warn us about it being dangerous for outsiders here, especially carrying around cameras and taking photographs.
Robert is 43 years old and resides in the dangerous city of Gary, IN. Most would not know this but it is the very same city that the King of Pop, Michael Jackson was born and raised. Robert is on government assistance because he is not able to work because of his ailments. He is suffering from emphysema and is on oxygen at all times. When we went to Gary we did not know what to expect. We expected it to be quite the dodgy unfriendly place but right away this kind man at his own risk wanted to warn us of the dangers. I have never seen so many abandoned houses in one area in my life. It seems as though America as forgotten this small city just outside of Chicago, IL. After speaking with Robert and many others I am going to dedicate a small corner of my portfolio here sharing their stories and hardships, titled Forgotten America.